Federal Office for Agriculture and Food
The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) is a German federal authority. It supports the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) through the implementation of strategies and measures across a broad range of topics concerning agriculture and food. The focus is on:
- Securing and stabilizing the agricultural market
- Supporting funded projects and federal programmes
- Providing information to a wide audience.
Located at the BLE, the Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) deals with the genetic resources of relevance for food and agriculture and is the BLE unit implementing BLE’s participation in PRO-GRACE. The Centre’s tasks include:
- Providing technical assistance and expertise to national and international programmes
- Collecting, documenting and centrally providing user-oriented data on the availability, characteristics and performance properties of genetic resources for food and agriculture
- Coordinating conservation activities and supporting conservation networks
- Advising BMEL and participating in national and international committees on behalf of the BMEL
- Public relations and information dissemination.
Role in PRO-GRACE
BLE as a governmental body will be facilitating communication with political decision-makers, an essential step in a European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) proposal roadmap, as well as in the planning of the future Research Infrastructure. BLE is an associated partner in four work packages and eight deliverables (WP1 ' Plant genetic resources inventory and information system', WP2 'Quality-certified ex situ and in situ management', WP5 'Research Infrastructure concept, social and regulatory aspects, governance and financial plan' and WP6 'Communication, dissemination, exploitation and training'). Participation will focus on supporting the development of a number of standards, concepts and structures, in particular standards and concepts for the in situ conservation of related wild species and landraces and a concept for the structure and governance of the Research Infrastructure and support for the involvement of stakeholders at the political level.