Ökológiai Mezőgazdasági Kutatóintézet

Planner’s Day: From vision to action – Experiences and future opportunities of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Hungary

On the 22nd  of March, 2013 a workshop with the above title  was  provided  for  the  second  time  since  2012  by ÖMKi.  The meeting took place in the House of Silk Reel, which  is  one  of  the  major  monuments  of  industrial history in Old Buda, and the office building of ÖMKi. The program was for farmers and community organisers who are already operating a CSA, or planning to  start one in the near future. The workshop provided an opportunity for participants to exchange experiences, plan and think together, share suggestions and ideas, and form questions and consider potential solutions. The  organic  farmers,  who  are  selling  in  this  community  supported  system  generally  showed  a beneficial picture of their situation. According to them, in the past 1 to 2 years they were able to build  a  closer  relationship  to  members  grouping  around  their  enterprises.  Growing  confidence gives a chance for long-term commitments and the realization of the planned investments.  It was a pleasure to see that more and more farmers, inspired by other’s success, are launching their own vegetable communities.  Currently, there are about half a dozen, many of  them are certified organic farms and this number will hopefully increase in the following years.

First meeting of ÖMKi scholars

The  first  professional  meeting  for  PhD  and  postdoctoral scholars  supported  by  ÖMKi  took  place  on  the  21st  of February, 2013. The event was organised in the House of Silk Reel (1033 Budapest, Miklós square 1.) and was attended by the  young  researchers  along  with  officials  from  the sustainable  agriculture  and  food  production  sectors.  In  the first  part  of  the  one-day  event  the  colleagues  of  ÖMKi presented  their  research  topics  and  results.  In  the  second part  of  the  program  the  scholars  introduced  their  research work. They pursue research in the following topics:

  • Increasing the efficiency of organic fertilizer pellets by usage of microbial products and plant extracts – Zoltán Pap

  • Comparison of the mycotoxin contaminations in the raw materials and the end-products derived from organic and conventional farming system – László Kametler

  • Experiments on reducing chemicals in mushroom production – András Geösel

  • The effect of organic and conventional farming on the quantity and quality of organic matter and on some soil microbial characteristics of sandy soils in the Nyírség region – Ibolya Demeter

  • Decrease of water demand using symbionts: application of drought tolerance helper mycorrhizal and rootendpohytic fungi in organic agriculture – Alena Lukács

  • Development of soil fertilizer bioinoculant based on organic matter mobilizing bacterial strains – Éva Tamás

  • The investigation of production of Hungarian tomato landraces in organic farming – László Csambalik

  • Comparative evaluation of the effects of organic and intensive agricultural system on soil microbial diversity – László Ködöböcz

At  the  end  of  the  day,  there  was  a  round  table  where  participants  could  comment  on  each others’  work  and  were  able  to  find  connection  points  and  co-working  possibilities  between research projects.

Opportunities for producer cooperations in organic farming

On  the  8th of  February,  2013  a  meeting  was  organised  by ÖMKi  for  organic  producers,  product  traders,  certifier organisations  and  others  interested  in  organic  farming.  The  mayor of the venue  settlement Nagydorog  also attended the meeting.  The  Research  Institute  for  Medicinal  Plants  was represented  in  the  conference  too  as  the  subregion, Nagydorog has a long history of herbal culture. Mihály Földi, colleague of ÖMKi, introduced our activities and results from on-farm research  of arable farming. István Barta from  the  Ministry of Rural Department presented important information about establishing and managing  producer  organisations.  A  discussion  between  the  farmers  and  members  of  ÖMKi about the opportunities of grouping started after the presentations. Product representatives inattendance  also  joined  the  conversation  about  the  questions  of  logistics  and  production planning.

Considering  the  fact  that  this  year  is  the  last  one  in  the  period  of  the  New  Hungary  Rural Development Programme (ÚMVP) framework, where production groups can apply for financial support, an increased interest was shown in the event and a continuation of the event series has been demanded. The next location will likely be in Southern Hungary.