Are we all becoming citizens of scientists? | World Legume Day

A healthy and varied diet is becoming increasingly important. In the European INCREASE project, scientists are recruiting citizens to help spread biodiversity and conserve our natural resources, using a very important food for the Portuguese: beans. All without leaving their homes. The Portuguese will participate through a free mobile application. We’ll explain how and why.

The goal of Citizen Science is to actively involve people in scientific discovery and to help governments shape future policies and lines of research. Therefore, we invite the Portuguese to learn more about biodiversity while registering and sharing various characteristics of an emblematic legume. And why the beans? At first glance, it might not seem very innovative or important, but it’s easy to argue otherwise. Beans are known and loved in this country … we know red beans, butter, white beans, black beans … but actually there are thousands of “lost” varieties all over Europe, ancient treasures that are almost unknown. Its potential has slept in sperm banks, but it’s time for us to wake it up. To like? In this project we will offer 1000 varieties to anyone who wants to grow them in their gardens, balconies, parapets or backyards. And since today is International Legume Day, the time is right for this spread. And what exactly do you as a citizen have to do?

Each selected participant will be given six varieties at random, all with a “passport” and instructions on planting and care. But first you need to register now and secure your place in this adventure! Registration and all phases will be carried out by February 28th via the INCREASE CSA application. You will receive the seeds in March and we hope the Portuguese will have good adhesion. The application was specially developed for the project and is also available in Portuguese. Anyone wishing to participate therefore only needs a mobile phone (Apple or Android) and must declare that the material will not be used for commercial purposes. Then just sow your beans – why not ask your children or grandchildren for help with this task? It can be an excellent family activity. You can become a true scientist: what color is your flower? The appearance of the pods? Your shape and size? Do they taste good in a salad or are they suitable for soups? These are all topics that interest us. If you can’t capture some of these traits because you didn’t have the time or because the plant has died, you can interact with other participants and view their results. The application is intended to create a community of citizens in which everyone can share their experiences.

And of course, participants can still use the varieties they received. Only in this way can we ensure the diversity of nature.

Videos on the importance of agrobiodiversity:

Clip 1
“INCREASE

Come with us! ”

Clip 2
“INCREASE that I become a citizen scientist!”

Clip 3
“INCREASE

The Citizen Science App ”

The authors write according to the new orthographic agreement