Established in 2018 on a 240 ha farm in south-east Portugal, Moinhos de Vento (MVarc) is an SME and agroecology research centre. MVarc’s mission is to research, develop and demonstrate the applicability of agroecological approaches in a semi-arid climate.
MVarc’s unique approach is to combine a plot and landscape modelling lab with plot to watershed/catchment scale experimental trials, investigating agroecological approaches to sustainable land management in a dryland landscape. MVarc’s modelling lab builds on the 15 years’ experience of its Director, João Palma, who uses process-based models and other tools to capture the complexity of biophysical relationships between trees, agriculture and the environment. These models are used to understand and improve management decisions under scenarios of climate change at different scales (plot, farm, landscape, region, continent), whilst considering financial and economic criteria in the decision-making process.