Research with the participation of Hungarian farmers
The ÖMKi on-farm research network is a system of innovative experiments carried out on Hungarian organic farms. It was established in 2012 and since then, the number of participants has been increasing continuously. This is the first research network in Hungary that is based on the active participation of farmers: the topics of our simple experiments carried out under realistic conditions are determined together with the farmers.
- 3Knowledge sharing
- 4Exchange of professional experiences
- Goal setting together with the farmers
- Practice-focused research
- Simple, realistic experiments
On-farm research considers the viewpoints of farmers as soon as research areas and goals are set.
- Collecting data with farmers
- Sharing results
A summary documentation is created about our localization-specific experiments, based on which every participant of the network can draw the conclusions most relevant for them.
- Connecting the parties involved in the product path
- Accessible results for participants
- Regular meetings, networking and workshop
The participant that provides the location for the research benefits from the results and proposed solutions specific to their farm, while the research findings can be used to draw abstract conclusions, and they can be shared or evaluated in an organized manner as well.
Exchange of professional experiences
- Developing a knowledge base
- Strengthening the competencies of farmers
The practical results of the research network contribute directly to improving the Hungarian organic sector.
Our project is one-of-a-kind. On-farm research plays a significant role in providing information to farmers, as well as in the development and promotion of innovative good practices. One outstanding recognition of our work is that the on-farm network received the Agricultural Development Award of the 78th OMÉK in 2017, the E.on Energy Globe Award in 2018 and the Certificate for the Protection of the Environment of the KSZGYSZ in 2019. In addition, the project can be further extended until 2023 from the generous EU framework granted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the MNVH.
In Hungary, carrying out experiments in operational settings goes way back, but a research network based on participation and implemented in organic agriculture was unprecedented in the country before the on-farm research project of ÖMKi started.
Meanwhile in Western Europe and Norther Africa, on-farm research systems have been playing a significant role in providing information for farmers, and in the development and promoting of innovative good practices for a long time. On-farm network experiments were already taking place in the 1970s in the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program of the USA. This research method has also been used widely in Europe for a long time, and it became an essential tool for organic research institutions such as the Dutch Louis Bolk Institution, the English Organic Research Centre or the Norwegian NORSOK Institution. Since its establishment in 1973, our partner institution, the Swiss FiBL (Forschungsinstitut für Biologischen Landbau) has strengthened the connections between research and practice with numerous on-farm experiments and practical publications.
This method proved to be so successful that since then it has been adopted in Germany and Austria as well.