ÖMKi 2018: successful year for organic farming
We were not lazy in 2018 either: we organized workshops in Hungary and abroad, we provided professional representation for the organic sector at several Hungarian and international forums, we organized an awareness raising campaign for the wide public, and our on-farm network won the Oscar award of the energy sector. It was a busy year for us, but due to our achievements the common goal – a flourishing Hungarian organic farming sector – is one step closer. We summarized what ÖMKi has done for the development of organic farming in Hungary in 2018.
Experience is the best teacher even for organic farmers: workshops
Currently we have more Horizon 2020 international research projects with direct financial support from Brussels (e.g. Liveseed, Solace EU, Farmer’s Pride), which we partially use for providing practical knowledge to organic farmers and professionals working for the development of organic agriculture.
We organized workshops in Hungary and abroad on the following topics in 2018:
- How can agricultural production be more diversified?
- How can we protect against stress effects caused by climate change?
- How can plant breeding improve the performance of organic farming?
- How can the genetic diversity of cultivated plants be preserved?
We carry the flag: professional representation
Our mission does not end at the borders of Hungary. We work for the development of Hungarian organic farming across Europe by giving presentations and providing professional representation at professional forums and fairs. We also organize exchange programmes and study tours in order to join more and more Hungarian organic farmers to the flow of international professional affairs.
Among others, we attended the following forums last year:
- ICOAS ‘18 (Eisenstadt, Austria) – 6th International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences
- Soy Forum (Budapest, Hungary)
- Biofach 2018 (Nürnberg, Germany): ÖMKi organized the Central Eastern Europe section at the world’s leading trade fair and professional meeting for organic food
- Healthy Minor Cereals study tour (Switzerland)
- LIVESEED exchange programme on organic seed production (France)
Future has begun: awareness raising
We shall not content ourselves with our smaller or larger professional achievements. For a real change and renewal and for reaching a diverse and sustainable food production system efficient transfer of knowledge and cooperation are required. Our campaigns aiming at the wide public provide messages on the importance of organic farming and organic research in plain language.
From soil to plate: Our online communication campaign promoted organic farming and organic food consumption for 5 months in 2018. First we started with the adoption of tomato landraces in March, and then went through the main research sectors of ÖMKi, and showed why organic production is important in apiculture, viticulture, arable farming and horticulture. The closing event was the “Big Hungarian ratatouille” (Nagy Lecsó) family day, a gastro event organized in August, bringing not only producers and consumers but also professional decision makers together. The Hungarian minister of agriculture, István Nagy, announced the reopening of the application made for organic farmers here.
Honourable mention to the on-farm project again
On 7th May 2018 ÖMKi could celebrate an important achievement when its on-farm research network won in the “Enterprise” category at the E.ON Energy Globe Award Gala (often referred as the Oscar award of the energy sector). Previously, the on-farm network won the Agricultural Development Prize of the National Agriculture and Food Exhibition and Fair (OMÉK) in 2017. Our on-farm project aims at boosting organic farming through a unique research network developed through the participation of organic farmers. The Energy Globe Award motivates us to perform further developments, besides bringing Hungarian organic enterprises into the limelight, and enhancing the importance of sustainable organic farming.
Our on-farm project is a research network uniting research activities performed in Hungarian organic farms, which reached remarkable results also in 2018:
- Our publication called Soil cultivation in vineyards with special focus to species-rich inter-row cover vegetation has been issued
- Brings life to the vineyard! – the Living inter-row seed mix of the ÖMKi has been developed
- The first Sustainable Apicultural Cooperative has been founded
The ÖMKi as an exemplary
The international representatives of the agricultural sector can get a firsthand experience on our work even on site. It was an honour for us to host the student delegation of the American Westminster College, the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of Thailand, the staff of the Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture (UKZUZ) from the Czech Republic and Robert Hermanowski, the managing director of FiBL Germany in 2018.
Without help all these things could not be achieved. We would like to thank our supporters, first of all Pancivis Foundation, C&A Foundation and our professional supporter, FiBL, and all our Partners for making our work and achievements possible also in 2018.