ARVALIS – Institut du végétal is an applied research organization dedicated to field crops.
ARVALIS is the largest applied agricultural research organization in France and the leading technical reference for field crops. Its mission is to assemble knowledge and provide useful innovations to producers of straw cereals (soft wheat, durum wheat, barley, triticale, rye, oats, rice, etc.), corn (grain, seed, sweet) and sorghum, potatoes, forage, fiber flax, tobacco, and the associated economic sectors.
Created by farmers and the sectors that finance it, the institute contributes to the development of grain production and quality food and non-food raw materials for national and international markets. ARVALIS applies its independent expertise to develop agro-ecological production systems that combine economic, social, environmental, and health performance.
Our scope of activity
ARVALIS is the technical agricultural institute of reference for the following sectors and interprofessions:
- Cereals: Intercéréales
- Potatoes: The national interprofessional commitee for potatoes (CNIPT) and the interprofessional group for the development of potatoes (GIPT)
- Fibre flax: The interprofessional commitee for the agricultural production of flax (CIPALin)
- Maize and sorghum seeds: the national federation of maize and sorghum seed production (FNPSMS)
- Tobacco: the national federation of tobacco producers (FNPT)
ARVALIS also works on behalf of SEMAE, the seed and plant interprofessional organization.
Within this scope, ARVALIS serves producers and value chains in their respective fields, from breeding support to the qualification of agricultural products for processing.
To this end, the Institute conducts applied research to acquire references and develop innovations. ARVALIS conducts studies and experiments, relying on its territorial anchorage and in partnership with research, innovation, and agricultural development stakeholders. The dissemination of acquired knowledge and the transfer of references is also a key challenge for ARVALIS, to make its work directly applicable to various production systems.
Within this scope, special relationships exist with two R&D structures:
Positioned at the heart of field crops, ARVALIS maintains multiple partnerships with other institutes in this sector, particularly around production systems (interaction between crops, multi-criteria evaluation of impacts (technical, economic, environmental)):
- Terres Inovia (technical institute for the vegetable oil and protein sector and the hemp sector)
- the technical institute of the beet (ITB)
- the Institute of Organic Agriculture and Food (ITAB)
- UNILET (French interprofession of canned and frozen vegetables)
In addition, in view of the animal nutrition outlets for cereal and forage production, ARVALIS also maintains partnerships with technical institutes in the animal world:
- The Livestock Institute (IDELE)
- IFIP (pig institute)
- ITAVI (technical institute for the poultry, rabbit, and fish industries)
ARVALIS is an ACTA member.
Our governance and organization
ARVALIS is an association and is not a subsidiary of any other entity.
ARVALIS is governed by a Board of Directors, which, along with the General Assembly, is the sole deliberative body of the Institute. The Board of Directors bases its decisions on the observations and recommendations of the Scientific Council (See Governance).
Under the authority of the President and the Secretary General, all decisions made by the Board of Directors are implemented by the ARVALIS teams. The Institute is composed of six departments (see Organizational Chart), whose six directors make up the Management Committee, along with the Scientific Director, who reports to the Director General.
In addition to the Management Committee, an extended Management Committee includes all department heads and regional directors.
ARVALIS has more than 400 employees working at 32 sites throughout France, including 27 experimental sites (see Locations).
A little history
Some key dates:
- 1934 Creation of AGPM General association of corn growers
- 1959 Creation of the ITCF Technical institute for cereals and fodder
- 1960 Creation of the ITPT Potato technical institute
- 1969 Creation of ITL Fibre flax technical institute
- 1995 Creation of ANITTA Tobacco technical institute
- 2000 Creation of technical AGPM
- 2002 Creation of ARVALIS - Institut du végétal (merger of technical AGPM and ITCF)
- 2008 Transfer of the technical activities of ITPT to ARVALIS - Institut du végétal
- 2011 Merger of ARVALIS - Institut du végétal and ITL
- 2013 Transfer of ANITTA's technical activities to ARVALIS - Institut du végétal
At the end of the Second World War, France was a very rural country, with two million farms employing more than six million people (31% of the national workforce), which was not enough to feed the 43 million inhabitants at the time.
In this context, the Treaty of Rome, signed in 1957 by France and five other European countries, set out great ambitions for agriculture, notably concerning the increase in productivity by developing technical progress, guaranteeing the security of supplies, and ensuring a fair standard of living for agricultural production... It was also noted that coordinated efforts would have to be made in the fields of professional training, research, and agricultural extension.
The French government then committed itself to a major agricultural development effort, in particular by modifying its research and "extension" system. However, despite the creation of the INRA in 1946, the lack of resources (only 470 engineers and 250 technicians were mobilized) prevented a satisfactory transfer of research findings to farmers.
This is why, in 1955, the professionals indicated their desire to take charge of teaching and transferring research results to farmers. They were successful in 1959, after the publication of a decree that entrusted the "agricultural extension" to the profession, and the Technical Institute for Cereals and Fodder (ITCF) was created: public financing, private (associative) status. The other "field crop" sectors were also the subject of experimentation and development work, in various configurations:
- For maize, the specialized union AGPM (general association of maize producers), created, in 1934, maintained until the 2000s a strong technical activity, in particular with the creation of a dedicated subsidiary: the technical AGPM.
- The General Confederation of the Potato (CGPT), a union specialized in the potato, initiated its own technical institute in 1960: the Technical Institute of the Potato (ITPT).
- The national interprofessional technical association of tobacco (ANITTA), in interprofessional form, has been conducting its own program for tobacco since 1995, following the reorganization of the sector, which was previously a state monopoly.
- For fibre flax, the General Association of Flax Producers (AGPL), a specialized union created in 1930, rapidly worked on the technical aspects, until the creation of the Technical Institute of Flax (ITL) in 1969.
ARVALIS - Institut du végétal was created in 2002 from the merger of the ITCF and the AGPM technique.