Ökológiai Mezőgazdasági Kutatóintézet

Report – Dialogue for development of Hungarian organic agriculture

ÖMKi organized the professional meeting, Dialogue for development of Hungarian organic agriculture, 6th February 2014 in the Ignác Darányi Hall of the Ministry of Rural Development. About 150 participants attended to gather information on current issues of the organic sector:

  • The recently created National Organic Farming Action Plan,

  • The new agriculture subsidy and institution system being under preparation and

  • The planned new organic regulation of the EU and the expected effects of these.

The aim of the program was to provide a wide overview of the ministry’s current plans, have a positive influence on these processes, draw up and represent the viewpoint of professionals, and represent the interests of organic farming.

Participants were greeted by Dr. József Viski head of the Ministry’s Strategic Department, on behalf of Katalin Tóth deputy under-secretary of state. Dr. Viski summarized political events concerning organic agriculture, development ideas, and the decision-making process of the government. As part of the presentation, department head of Food Chain Management Dr. Zoltán Gombos spoke about the final release of Hungary’s 2014-2020 National Organic Farming Strategy.

Arable crop production, summary of professional meetings

ÖMKi held professional meetings in March for farmers participating in past on-farm arable crops research and those with an interested in the topic to sumarize the programs of last year and encourage participation in this year’s work. These experiments are based on producer practice and done in settings shaped in cooperation with the farmers. ÖMKi’s main task is realizing research that helps Hungarian organic agriculture.

ÖMKi attends NUE-Crops and LI-Breeds workshops in Newcastle, UK. 23 April 2014

Zoltán Dezsnéy and Ed Garrett from ÖMKi attended Early Stage Researcher dissemination workshops for the EU-FP7 projects NUE-CROPS (www.nuecrops.eu/) and LowInputBreeds (www.lowinputbreeds.org/) April 8 and 9 at Newcastle University in Newcastle on Tyne, UK. The Nafferton Ecological Farming Group at Newcastle University sponsored both workshops and a field trip to the Organic/Conventional comparative research trials at Nafferton Farm.

NUE-CROPS is an EU-FP7 project exploring nitrogen use efficiency mainly in wheat, maize, potato, and oilseed rape while the EU-FP7 LI-Breeds project investigates promotion of feed efficiency of cattle, sheep pigs and poultry under six major livestock production systems in Europe. Nafferton Farm has both an organic and conventional dairy herd with pastures, forage crops, potato and other typical crops for the region. The farm is separated roughly in half with one side under organic management and the other conventionally farmed to allow for large-scale comparison of multiple issues.

Report – Apicultural on-farm research network 2013 – 2014

ÖMKi hosted a day long professional workshop on last year’s varroa mite research and trials for organic beekeepers on Saturday, March 28th. The event, held at the Historic Silk Reel House in Budapest, also served to introduce new members of the On-farm Apiculture group for 2014 to existing members encouraging an open exchange of experiences.

The event was opened by Dr. Dóra Drexler, managing director of ÖMKi who spoke about the current state of the organic sector, Hungary’s role as a leader in organic beekeeping, the activities of ÖMKi, and the methodology of on-farm research. Apiculture Research Associate at ÖMKi, Tamás Csáki, presented results from the 2013 apiculture research, what methods were tested, and specifics about the protection measures available to organic beekeepers for control of varroa mites. A research summary of ÖMKi’s 2013 research will be available soon on our website.

BioFach and Vivaness 2014 fair in Nuremberg

ÖMKi participated as exhibitor in the BioFach and Vivaness 2014 fair, the world’s biggest organic trade show. This was the second year in a row that ÖMKi represented organic agriculture as part of the offical Hungarian country booth. Around 42,000 guests from 134 countries visited Nuremberg between the 12th and 15th of February 2014 to see the 2235 exhibitors and be attend the diversified conferences. The most exciting programmes were the programs on ’Organic 3.0’, discussing the development and future prospects of the organic sector.

Organic agriculture, what we might call 1.0, was established by pioneering professionals living and working in different parts of the world but the sector has seen extraordinary development over the past few decades (Organic 2.0). Still, today the world’s food production is unsustainable. Although 2014 was pronounced ’the year of family farming’ by the UN, small-scale and family farming is less and less important in many places. Rural areas in many countries are characterized by poverty, social injustice and hunger, referred to frequently as smallholder agriculture and agriculture in general has become a major contributor to climate change and the loss of biodiversity.Organic 3.0 looks at the strategies and course of innovation needed to bring organic agriculture in line with our current understandings of economics, social innovation and needs, but most importantly, solving large scale environmental and food production problems: the foundation goals of Organic 1.0, feeding people healthy and nutritious food while preserving the national resources to do so indefinately.

BioFach 2014

The Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) is represented on the BioFach, the World’s leading Trade Fair for Organic Food (www.biofach.de) this year again. BioFach takes place in Nürnberg, Germany between the 12-15th of February 2014. You can find us in Hall 5 at stand 151, where we promote organic agriculture in Hungary and introduce our research work.

In the organization of ÖMKi, a Central-East European Congress will be held at BioFach, where you can hear from experts about the current status of organic agriculture in the region. You can find the abstracts here.

If you have a chance, visit us at our booth. After the fair you will be able to read a summary on our website.

On-farm trials and education on organic farms

The international LEONARDO DA VINCI On-Farm Education project of ÖMKi

Over the next two years the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) will participate in a Leonardo da Vinci project with goals promoting development of on-farm research and education in cooperation with the organic farmers. In the project, four partners – IBLA from Luxemburg, FiBL from Austria, Bioinstitut from the Czech Republic and ÖMKi from Hungary – will share experiences on research and education based on participation and define best practices so far. In addition, a further objective is to define and imporve the skills required for the effective transmission of knowlegde for the organizers of research and education. As usual, farmers are in focus for the project – they determine problems needing to be solved throughout the research, as well as educational events consisting of 4-5 workshops and a final seminar take place mostly on the organic farms. The participants are farmers, consultants and researchers. The Leonardo project helps finance travel and lodging for the organization participants.

On-farm research projects at ÖMKi

The On-farm research network is a system of practical trials realized on organic farms in Hungary. It is made up of trials that are implemented and set in life-like situations conforming to the goals of production defined by the farmers. The subjects of the trials are established together with the participating farms. The particular method, species, produce or seed mixture is tested in the varied practice of everyday life concerning its productivity rather than under strictly controlled circumstances. Thus, the farmers taking part in the network get feedback right from their own farming area and how this fits with their production technology. However, when the trials are established on multiple farms with different features for each subject, results provide a more comprehensive understanding of organic production in Hungary as well as specific solutions.

The essence of the on-farm research is cooperation: the selection, implementation, evaluation of the trials and the assessment of the results all create a strong connection between the farmers with typically several decades of experience and the practitioners, researchers and breeders involved in the project. The meetings, field events, sampling events or result assessment workshops also give the possibility to form a communitiy or farmers’ society during the year. The professional information is passed more effectively through conversation between the players, the mutually shared experience and competence get multiplied, and all participants can acquire various elements that would be difficult or impossible to be received without the other members of the system.

Prominent appearance of ÖMKi in the ISOFAR Newsletter

The December newsletter of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR) published a country report on Hungary, written by Dóra Drexler and Zoltán Dezsény. Moreover, the newsletter reviews the International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences (ICOAS 2013), organized by ÖMKi with great success this October. To read the publications click here:

Polish researchers welcomed by ÖMKi

30th October 2013, Wednesday

Almost 40 Polish agriculture principal researchers visited ÖMKi between 24th and 27th October. This study trip was designed for getting acquainted with Hungary’s organic farming through our research and development work in organic agriculture. On the first day our guests visited Corvinus University Horticultural Science department in Budapest where short series of presentations about the scope of organic agriculture in Hungary, organic farming studies, on-farm research of ÖMKi and current support schemes were made.Notable speakers included Dr. Dóra Drexler (managing director of ÖMKi), Dr. Zita Szalai and Dr. Péter Pusztai (docents of Corvinus University of Budapest), Dávid Papp (doctoral candidate of Corvinus University) and Dr. Attila Lucskai (research associate of organic agriculture and mycology of the Food and Fodder Safety Division of Ministry of Rural Development). Our Polish colleagues then introduced their agriculture research institutes and experimental localities. All their institutes deal with research and development of organic farming, from plant breeding and biological plant protection to organic animal keeping. The technical advice centre at Radom deals strictly with development of organic agriculture in Poland. The Organic Food Valley Cluster also introduced itself; this is the first Polish association specifically targeting the expansion of organic farming (click HERE for details published in BioHolMi magazine). Participants were able to relax or explore Budapest after the professional programme followed by dinner on a sight-seeing boat trip on the Danube.