Diversified orchards for REsilient and sustAinable
Mediterranean farming systems
Diversified orchards for REsilient and sustAinable
Mediterranean farming systems

DREAM Project

DREAM aims at providing Mediterranean fruit growers with an alternative new cultivation approach for high quality and diversified fruit production with the specific objective to improve resilience to climate change, functional biodiversity as well as environmental and economic sustainability of small farming systems. The DREAM ambition is to develop a new orchard model to provide Mediterranean farmers, especially small-holders, an alternative approach to increase the competitiveness and the sustainability of their productions. Although also modern, highly intensive farms sometimes diversify crops and varieties to optimize labour and resource inputs along the season, the DREAM approach goes beyond current conventional systems.

DREAM agroecosystem

The current climate change scenario foresees several risks such as increased frequency in extreme weather events, abiotic stressors but also reduced biodiversity, soil quality loss and pollination deficit. Modern orchards require high input, making them much more vulnerable to climate changes. Therefore, it is important to introduce new alternative approaches to improve the resilience of fruit farms to climate change related risks, while maintaining their economic, environmental and social values within the Mediterranean basin. The DREAM agroecosystem responds to these challenges, developing a novel cultivation approach, adapting the small farming systems to climate change, increasing farmers’ incomes as well as their ecosystem services and biodiversity. DREAM will represent a starting point to be adapted to other major Mediterranean fruit crops.

DREAM agroecosystem will be co-designed with the help of local living labs in three fruit producing areas: Italy and Morocco for apple and Spain for pear.


DREAM agroecosystem will be characterized by the following basic principles which go beyond conventional agricultural systems:

a multi-variety orchard

with different, scalar fruit varieties and exploiting a range of genetic resistances to biotic and abiotic stressors

consociation with a cover crop mixture

able to prolong blooming, increase soil nutritional and water status, attract natural enemies and repelling phytophagous insects by attracting natural enemies

adoption of Regulated Deficit Irrigation strategies

aimed at increasing the system water use efficiency, as well as improving fruit quality

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Dream website is live!

We ‘re happy to announce that our website is live. Stay tuned to get all the information about the project.
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