Soil conservation farming in Hungary
Specific sustainability challenge
- How to integrate agro-ecological practices on arable land in highly market-oriented arable farming systems to maintain and improve soil quality without significant negative impacts on the economic viability of farms?
Key Dilemma and key reseach question
- How can barriers and drivers of a transition towards sustainable AEFS be addressed in the specific case study context ?
- What are the socio-economic and environmental implications of the transition to agro-ecological farming?
- Why were innovative strategies and incentives successful (or unsuccessful) in enhancing the joint provision of private and public goods of AEFS in a specific case study context?
- How to secure economic and social sustainability at a farm level through having a viable production of private and public goods (without being overly dependent on public funds)?
Potential key barriers for transition
- Lack of knowledge and openness to alternative practices and technologies, farmer attitudes towards agro-ecological farming, low social capital, lack of capital, credit and bank guarantee for investment in specific machinery, lack of specific agro-ecological advisory services, soil as natural resource with underrepresented social/institutional value
Short description of key characteristics
- Sustainability issue: Pressure on natural resource: soil quality and its ecological sustainability, social and economic trade-offs
- Case study theme focus: national, farm level investigations in Belső Somogy
- Farm production type: arable systems, specialist crop production, market-oriented farming
- Agro-ecological practices include extensive margins, nutrient management, reduced/no tillage, conservation management of soils
- Level of Cooperation: Some farmers cooperate with industrial input supplier in environmental management (demonstrations: soil conservation, field margins management). Sub-regional self-organizing cooperation for agri production and selling.
Key actors involved
- Authorities and Administration – representatives from local, regional and national governments, policy-makers, regulatory and managing authorities, regional enterprise and planning authorities and technical staff
- National Rural Development Agency, local governments, NébiH: National Food Security Authority
- Farmers/Agri-food value chain – Public-private businesses and (representatives of) farmers and agri-food value chain actors
- Farmers union (NAK: National Agricultural Chamber), Input manufacturers/suppliers, Integrators, Agricultural machinery manufacturers/suppliers
- NGOs, civic society organisations, local community representatives – These groups will be invited to participate in knowledge sharing activities, and identify opportunities for UNISECO to address local issues, and co-construct local implementation.
- Biokultúra Association, Magyar Természetvédők Országos Szövegsége (Friends of the Earth Hungary), HU Association of Permaculture (Magyar Permakultúra Egyesület, MAPER), Regenerative Agriculture (TMMG Talaj Megújító Mezőgazdaság), Birdlife Hungary (MME)
- Science and innovation – Szent István University, RISSAC: Academy’s Research Inst. Of Soil Sci., National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre (NAIK)
- Consumers – to discuss how the outcomes are relevant to the everyday lives of people – no processing in farms, no direct connection of farmers with consumers. – TVE: Association of Conscious Consumers
- Improved understanding of barriers and drivers of transitions to AEFS in intensive agricultural areas
- Co-constructed novel and effective market mechanisms and policy instruments to improve the sustainability of intensive arable farming systems
- Enhanced evidence of the sustainability implications of different agro-ecological transition paths of arable farming systems
- Improved knowledge base of agro-ecological farming for use by policy-makers with at EU, national and regional levels, advisors, farmers, value chain actors and consumers
Also see: newsitem "Preserving soil quality and soil health in arable farming: the case study in Hungary"