alexa Wallon Agricultural Research Centre

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Wallon Agricultural Research Centre

Wallon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) a scientific establishment under the Regional Government of Wallonia is founded in 1872 and regionalised on 1 October 2002, spread over three sites i.e., Gembloux, Libramont and Mussy-la-Ville, and occupies some 300 hectares of offices, laboratories, greenhouses, orchards and experimental fields and is now maintaining extensive contacts with farmers, horticulturalists, businesses, universities and research centres in Belgium and abroad. It thus takes part in numerous European, national and regional research projects. The Centres active presence in development assistance is further proof of its international stature. The CRA-Ws work is recognised through the appointment of its researchers to advise national and international organisations, the certifications gained in recent years and the designation of some of its Units as reference laboratories. The range of services and analyses provided by the Centre covers all aspects of agriculture. As a multidisciplinary research institution, CRA-W is above all a big team of nearly 500 competent, motivated people. Its facilities cover an area of more than 300 ha of experimental fields, orchards, glasshouses, laboratories, etc. at Gembloux, Libramont and Mussy-la-Ville. CRA-W is a public research organization. It currently employs 450 people, including 120 scientists split in 7 departments with 92 scientific publications. The expertise available from this multidisciplinary research institution covers the main fields of interest in agriculture, horticulture and forestry as well as the food processing industries and environmental sciences such as plant breeding, genetic engineering, plant pathology, plant genetic resources management, farming systems, analysis and screening of pesticides and nitrate in the environment, Modelling pesticides and nitrate transfer, development of diagnostic protocols to determine the point source and diffuse pollution, practical and technical farming solution to reduce the pollution of the water, agricultural engineering, biomass and renewable energy, crop and animal husbandry, agro-meteorology, feed and food quality. Its expertise has permit to this research institute to be pioneer in the development of alternative methods based on PCR and on NIR microscopy techniques (NIR microscope and NIR camera). Moreover, it has participated to the organization of three European collaborative studies related to the topic by the preparation of the samples analysed and by compiling and interpreting the results. CRA-W is frequently consulted for its wide expertise by the national and European official authorities, European official control laboratories and by the representatives of the feed sector. It has been also the editor of two books related to the project. CRA-W is pioneer in the development of NIR microscopic methods for the detection of animal products in feed. CRA-W has been nominated as CRL-AP for the 2006-2011 period.