Ökológiai Mezőgazdasági Kutatóintézet

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

Read more...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.

ÖMKi at Polish Natura Food exhibition

21st October 2013, Monday

Read more...ÖMKi participated in the Natura Food International Traditional and Organic Food Exhibition held in Łódź (Poland). This year Hungary, being special guest, was provided the featured display. This special appearance, by the request of Polish agriculture ministry, was organized by Hungarian Ministry of Rural Development.

The exhibition held from 11th to 13th October 2013 is the most important organic farming fair of Central and Eastern Europe and visited by more than 10.000 guests. Within the Natura Food Exhibition, the BEECO Ecological Lifestyle conference was organized for a second time. In Poland, similarly to Hungary, the difference between a ’natural’, certified organic and ’local’ product is not clearly defined. This exhibition gave space to all three product groups.

Hungary was primarily represented by farmers dealing with foodstuffs missing from Polish organic production: organic wine, ground paprika, garlic, etc. Other Hungarian exhibitors were the Ministry of Rural Development, National Food Chain Safety Office, organizations of organic supervision and certification. ÖMKi represented the research sector. During the three days of the fair, visitors could get acquainted with our mission and activities not only at our stand but also at a workshop where, among professional and political members of Hungarian organic agriculture, ÖMKi also presented itself. ÖMKi will not break off relations with representatives of Polish organic farming studies and colleagues of Radom Research Institute after the fair. We plan to receive 35 Polish experts between 24th and 26th of the month to show them important scenes of Hungarian organic agriculture.

ICOAS 2013 – Report of the International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences in Hungary

Read more...ICOAS 2013 was a huge success. Beginning with the Organic Policy Summit 2013 held in Budapest at Hungary’s Parliament, then moving to Eger for two days of presentations and forums by scientists and researchers from 4 continents, and ending with a tour including on-farm research sites in Tokaj, the four days of ICOAS 2013 proved that the science of organic agriculture is a critical component for Central Eastern Europe and beyond.

After serving as host for the Organic Policy Summit in Budapest, the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) with assistance from the Czech Technology Platform for Organic Agriculture (CTPOA) produced the bi-annual ICOAS under the theme of Targeting Global Sustainability – Food Security, Biodiversity and Climate Change. The ICOAS 2013 venue, Hotel Eger & Park in Eger, Hungary, provided room for three parallel tracts in addition to the plenary sessions and symposium on Biodiversity Assessment on Agricultural Farms. The conference was attended by about 120 participants.

Tracts “A” of the conference consisted of sessions on Perceptions of Organic Farmers, Novel Technologies in Organic Agriculture, and On-Farm Research, Binding Practice and Scientific Inquiry. Tract “B” hosted presentations in Organic Animal Husbandry, Organic Plant Breeding and Propagation, Sustainable Food Supply Chains, and Farmer Education. “C” tract centered on topics of Practice Oriented Research, Avoiding Hazards, Organic Quality Control and Food Safety, and Sustainability Assessment for Improving Agricultural Practice. Question and answer periods allowed those attending to engage with speakers around their topics of expertise.

Organic Policy Summit 2013 – Parliament, Budapest, Hungary

Read more...More than 250 people attended Organic Policy Summit 2013 at the prestigious Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary. Sándor Lezsák, Vice-president of the Parliament opened the conference in the upper house chambers. Katalin Tóth, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development announced the near completion of work on a National Action Plan for Organic Agriculture which is intended to work with and strengthen the National Biodiversity Strategy and National Environmental Program of Hungary; a key piece of these combined strategies being to keep the country GMO free.

Prof. Urs Niggli of the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and Marco Schlüter from IFOAM EU presented latest issues of organic research and rural policy in the EU. Special emphasis was placed on the anticipated funding schemes of the 2014-2020 period, both in agricultural research and production. Lukáš Víšek from the European Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development then unveiled the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) in Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability, a new instrument for fostering sustainable agriculture development.

Professional day about organic soybeans: secure and GMO-free source material within the region

Read more...Our first organic soybean professional day was held on 4th September 2013 at the headquarters of Völgy Major Kft, Tornyiszentmiklós, with participation of organic farmers, organic soybean producers, special advisors, soybean breeders and sowing seed traders. The main focuses of the programme were direct exchange of knowledge and experiences and enhancing collaboration within the organic soybean sector.

The morning started with introduction of the hosts: Völgy Major Kft. and Organic Food Kft.; beside soybean production, they deal with organic animal husbandry and organic egg production. Activities of the companies were presented by Alfred Reinhard and Tamás Gergye managing directors.

Report about Young Farmer 3.0 project

ÖMKi held its training titled ’Organic Horticulture and Community-supported Sales’ on 23-24 August 2013 in Gödöllő and on 30-31 August in Kecskemét. It was part of the ’Young Farmer 3.0’ educational and professional community project started in spring 2013 and attracted many curious visitors. The audiences were greeted by Dr. Csaba Gyuricza, dean of Szent István University in Gödöllő and by Orsolya Dene, director of Bács Agrárház Nonprofit Kft. (providers of the locations) in Kecskemét. On Fridays, participants heard general lectures about organic agriculture (state of organic farming in the world and Hungary, base of organic horticulture, soil conservation, gentle plant protection), mainly concentrated on vegetable production. Besides these lectures, there were two other topics: on-farm studies of ÖMKi and alternative sales. On the second days, participants visited professional and enthusiastic organic farmers who have recieved young farmer subsidies.

80 participants: farmers, future (organic) farmers and curious visitors took part on the module. According to feedback they found these two days successful and useful.

The whole report can be read on our website.

Tomato local varieties – professional day at the Experimental and Research Farm (Soroksár)

Read more...On 8th August 2013, a professional day was held at the Corvinus University of Budapest Experimental and Research Farm: Role of local tomato varieties in Hungarian organic agrobiodiversity. The programme had 30 guests, including 11 special advisors.

ÖMKi’s on-farm tomato study took place in 2013 with the participation of 28 farmers, colleagues of Corvinus University’s Department of Ecological and Sustainable Production Systems and Centre for Agrobiodiversity. In the research, 35 local varieties were studied across several regions of Hungary. The event provided an opportunity to exchange experience, to promote connection between farmers and to kindle visitors’ interest about study of local varieties. Participants could compare the tomatoe varieties by taste and with help of special instruments. Experts also showed the nutrition value of the samples on the spot.

The whole report can be read on our website.



Organic apiarist on-farm research has started – varroa control workshop

24th of March, 2013 –  our first organic beekeeping workshop was  hosted  by  Tamás  Csáki,  ÖMKi  researcher  –  Apiary. Participants  discussed  special  techniques  of  organic beekeeping  and  got  to  know  products  used  against  varroa and  allowed  for  organic  apiary  that  are  to  be  tested  in  a  participatory  research  program.  The  goal  of  the  workshop was  to  reach  an  agreement  for  annual  common  treatment and control method(s).
Beekeepers  will  treat  12-12  bee  colonies  from  their population  with  the  same  method against  varroa  and  monitor  infection  levels.  During  the treatment  period  two  comparable  products  will  also  be  tested.  The  infection  level  will  be regularly  controlled  using  hygenic  bottom  board  and  alive  bee  sampling.  The  samples  will  be evaluated  by  the  Bee  Health  Department  of  Veterinary  Diagnostic  Directorate  from  National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH).

17  apiarists  were interested in participating in the research from different parts of the country. The participatory  research tests methods and products in on-farm conditions, which means the
testing fits within  the  apiarist’s daily routine  and  the  apiculture’s operat ing mode  without any separation from the production enterprise. During the beekeeping season, apiarists take note of the treatments and observations about varroa infection and any impact on production. The purpose of the  experiment  is to  evaluate  organic  protection  strategies  against  varroa that work well in domestic practise.