“Sorghum – a Promising Industry of Many Opportunities”
Aude Carrera has been a regional agronomist with ARVALIS, the French plant research institute, for fourteen years, and is about to take the relay from her colleague Jean-Luc Verdier as a sorghum industry information and communication officer.
After college graduation – followed by a PhD which she prepared at the INRAE Institute in 2006 –, Aude Carrera joined the ARVALIS Institute as a regional agronomist, in 2008. “The job completely suited my expectations, being not only multifaceted and technical, but also focused on relationship-building with our partners and knowledge transfer.”
Phytosanitary Quality and Climate Change
As a field agronomist with ARVALIS in a region encompassing three counties in south-western France, Aude Carrera carries out activities that focus on small grains and maize, as well as irrigation and climate change. She also worked (especially in 2021) in a project called Climassol, funded by the Aquitaine region, which uses „ASALEE1”, a system that develops rotation scenarios adapted to climate change.
“My work has led me to bring out two main issues: phytosanitary quality and climate change.”
Focusing on Sorghum Industry Priorities
As of June 2023, Aude Carrera will take over Jean-Luc Verdier’s position with ARVALIS – namely, that of Information and Communication Officer for the sorghum industry.
With the help of several organisations and events such as the symposium of national committees, which gathers together producers from all over France to exchange information on sorghum, Aude Carrera will identify and coordinate the activities that are to be carried out as a priority, for the sector.
Aude Carrera sees this as a welcome opportunity: “I have always wanted to work on a diversifying crop whose value added can generate interest among producers without impending on current crops.”
A Well-structured, Human-scale Network
“The sorghum industry has a well-structured, well-knit network, based on multiple partnerships. One identifies the motivated and inspired actors right away. It is a human-scale industry, with plenty of projects, prospects, and experiments!” Aude Carrera tells us enthusiastically.
It is an industry that was energized for many years by Jean-Luc Verdier, whom Aude Carrera salutes: “In addition to his well-known expertise, Jean-Luc is a great teacher, who loves sharing. He is actually working on a technical guide on sorghum, which will make for a great legacy in the field.”
Aude will also be assisted by a team of in-house co-workers present in the regions where sorghum is developing, as well as by experts in weed control, fertilisers, and irrigation.
1. The ASALEE system uses data that describe farms and their irrigation methods, to compare crop rotations and simulate technical and economic results, work time, and irrigation water use.