The challenge

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) play an essential role in agriculture to maintain fertile and healthy soils, and ensure food security. However, overfertilisation has led to negative impacts on human health, biodiversity, water, air, and soil quality. In addition to this, there are indications of a decline in the soil organic carbon content. This is defined as a threat for European soils due to its crucial link with the ecosystem functioning.


The Horizon Europe NutriBudget project aims at developing the prototype of a first-of-its-kind integrated nutrient management platform, called NutriPlatform. The NutriPlatform will operate as a decision-support tool (DST) to determine which agronomic or policy measures to implement. It will also support assessment of their impact for farmers at a farm level and for policy makers at a regional to European level.

The Concept

NutriBudget devises an interdisciplinary and holistic concept based on five pillars to help Europe to transition from the current to the desired nutrient status, with balanced spatial agronomic and environmental targets:

  • NutriDesign: which critical performance indicator framework to measure
  • NutriData: which existing mitigation measures data to collect and new data to generate
  • NutriModels: how to model the integrated impact across nutrients, farming systems and spatial scales
  • NutriPlatform: how to translate this to a DST for farmers and regional authorities
  • Nutri-Actor approach: how to co-create this with users and various actors according to a multi-actor approach

Expected Results

  • Co-create 1 Mitigation Measures Catalogue of at least 50 of the best region-specific agronomic practices to optimize nutrient cycling and flow across different farming systems
  • Generate data needed to validate at least 15 novel agronomic mitigation measures and combinations thereof (prioritized in 5 pilot regions distributed across 4 different climate zones)
  • Develop 2 integrated NutriModels (top-down and bottom-up) to improve current models on nutrient budgets and flows across different scales
  • Determine at least 10 roadmaps (based on 2 technology levels and 5 categories of agricultural and environmental indicators) to optimise the nutrient management plans
  • Co-create nutrient data standards to have optimised farming systems in equilibrium with maximum agricultural performance and minimal environmental pressure
  • Develop a prototype of the NutriPlatform DST reaching at least 40.000 target users in the four climate zones to strengthen EU agriculture based on optimized nutrient use
  • Develop policy recommendations to remove regulatory and financial barriers and reward farmers the public goods derived from transiting to efficient nutrient management
  • Establish a Nutri-Actor network including 250 key organisations and actors to be involved in at least 23 co-creation and validation sessions to enhance the uptake of NutriBudget results