Future agriculture needs data-based research and environmentally friendly farming
On September 24, opening of the international conference, dedicated to the project “Enhancement of sustainable land soil resource management in agriculture” of the Norwegian financial instrument, launched at the beginning of this year, was followed online not only by experts from Latvia and Norway, but also from other Baltic States
“The opening event of the project, funded by Norway, targeting soil research in Latvia, is an excellent opportunity for exchange of information among several initiatives, a valuable contribution to a stronger educational basis and creative solutions for a more responsible life for all of us”, said Kristian Ødegaard, Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Norway to Latvia.
The conference was focusing on its task. The information on three currently ongoing international projects was provided together and that will contribute greatly to both exploration of our national resources and for a dialogue between the Government, research and the society.
The three projects, significant for the environment are as follows:
• LAND: project of the Norwegian financial instrument “Enhancement of sustainable land soil resource management in agriculture” (E2SOILAGRI),
• WATER: at water quality improvement works LIFE GOODWATER IP “Implementation of River Basin Management Plans of Latvian towards good surface water status”.
“And this is the way a sustainable management is created – through cooperation, dialogue, scientific research and human work”, said Jānis Eglīts, head of the Minister’s office of the Ministry of Agriculture. “The land is our home and the home for biological diversity. Land is the basis for economy, and it is very significant for agriculture and efficiency of food system”.
Whereas, Kristīne Sirmā, expert of the Ministry of Agriculture, is convinced: “To facilitate an effective and sustainable management of resources, based on knowledge, we need data-based research. It is particularly topical, taking into account a growing intensity of agricultural land use and the common objective – each square meter of cultivated land must bear a maximum added value with a possibly lower impact on the environment”.
Today, soil has become one of the most endangered resources. Soil contains a considerable amount of carbon and nitrogen, which, depending on the land use type, leak into water and atmosphere. And this, undoubtedly, is linked to climate changes. Land managers must more and more acquire environmentally friendly farming practice.
Partners of the Ministry of Agriculture in implementation of the Norway Grants Climate and Environment Program 2014 – 2021 “Climate change mitigation, adaptation to them and the environment” in the pre‑defined project “Enhancement of sustainable soil resource management in agriculture" are Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, the Latvian Forest Science Institute SILAVA, the State Plant Protection Service and University of Latvia. The project implementation will go on till January 31, 2024.
The planned project budget is EUR 1,83 million, including the Norway grant EUR 1,56 million and EUR 0,27 million - the national co-financing.
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