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Last update: May 2021

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The EIDER project


Methodology for integrated assessment of sustainability and resilience of agro-ecological dairy production systems



The agro-ecological transition is a major challenge for agriculture. In dairy cattle systems, it often involves increasing the proportion of grass in animal rations. The sustainability and resilience of such systems are being challenged by global, climatic, economic and social changes.
The objective of the EIDER project is to develop an operational methodological framework, based on Life Cycle Assessment and shareable with non-scientific actors, to jointly quantify the sustainability and resilience of agricultural production systems. The scale of assessment is that of the farm. The project has several scientific questions:

  • How can the resilience of a farm be defined?
  • What indicators should be used to assess the resilience and sustainability of an agro-ecological dairy farm?
  • How should impacts of the diversity of feed resources of a dairy farm on its sustainability and resilience be assessed?
  • How can crop-livestock complementarity be considered when assessing resilience and sustainability?

This project is based on studying two types of agro-ecological dairy systems: the OasYs system experiment, which adopted a system-diversification strategy, and the grass-based systems implemented by the CEDAPA livestock farmers' network. It follows an interdisciplinary approach (agronomy and animal production, environmental assessment). The plans to develop a method, test apply the method to existing systems, identify barriers to and needs for research or complementary methodological developments, and identify other actors (scientific or technical) to include in this theme.

SAS staff involved

Matthieu Carof, Olivier Godinot, Valérie Viaud, Aurélie Wilfart, Virginie Parnaudeau, Françoise Vertès, Julie Auberger


UE Ferlus, dispositif expérimental OasYs
UR Aster

Funding and Support

The EIDER project is funded by INRAE's AgroEcoSystem and PHASE research departments.