Perspectives of soil conservation farming in promoting agro-ecological considerations - a case study in Hungary

Authors: Katalin Balázs*, Geonardo Ltd, Rozália Pecze, Syngenta Ltd, László Podmaniczky, Geonardo Ltd, Péter Tóth, Geonardo Ltd
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Land Use, Soils
Keywords: agro-ecological farming systems, soil conservation, UNISECO, Hungary, sustainable farming
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Agro-ecological conditions for crop production in Hungary are generally considered to be good. Still several challenges emerge when speaking about how to take advantage of these endowments in practice. The dominance of economic aspects in farming may lead to the deterioration of the ecological requirements to farming and the natural environment. Agri-environmental measures launched to tackle such problems seemed initially to be effective, but by now it has become apparent that new solutions need to be found for real impacts in handling environmental/ecological challenges. Agro-ecological practices embedded into market-based activities are trying to find solutions for the question: how economic (profit bearing) activities are possible in agriculture so that they are also in line with the natural conditions and make best use of opportunities ensured by the environment. In Hungary the deterioration of soils is an outstanding environmental challenge. In the Hungarian case study of the UNISECO project we analyse the opportunities for soil conservation farming as an agro-ecological practice in a hillock area by assessing its environmental effects at farm level. We examine if and how reducing or omitting ploughing can lead to enhancing soil fertility, water retention capacity and biodiversity. We also study how the agro-ecology initiative of our contributing partner (Syngenta) can assist farmers in applying economically and environmentally sustainable agro-ecological solutions. Acknowledgements: UNISECO (‘Understanding and Improving the Sustainability of Agro-Ecological Farming Systems in the EU’) has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 773901.

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