Organic Farming Resecrh in Europe

Organic Farming Research in the Countries of Europe

by:
Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau (D)

and

Forschungsinstitut fuer biologischen Landbau (CH)

March 2002

Foreword

This document provides an overview of the current status of organic farming research in 22 European countries. Several experts were asked to contribute to the subject. But since not all the countries had up to date information this work must still be considered in progress. Up-dates and news will be integrated in the upcoming months. Comments and supplements are therefore greatly appreciated and should be sent to Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau or to Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau . Some of the information presented here is based on a survey done for a FAO workshop on organic farming research methodologies in 1998 and on information compiled by the German Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau for its web site on organic farming in Europe (www.organic-europe.net). For additional notes on organic farming research in Europe please see also: Organic Farming in Europe  and Organic Agricultural Research in Europe.

Uli Zerger and Helga Willer

Bad Dürkheim / Frick, 21.1.2002

Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Great Britain Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland

Authors - References

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Austria

General

A slow but gradual increase in research on organic farming has taken place at the university level since 1992. A central institution for research on organic farming is the Institute of Organic Farming at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Vienna (Institut für ökologischen Landbau IFÖL.

Main Research Institutions:

 

State funds

Compared to conventional agricultural research very little funds are allocated to organic farming research.

 

Research Fields

  • Biological nitrogen fixation and water use of fodder legumes, crop-rotations and the role of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) in organic farming
  • Seed quality and multiplication of seeds, legal aspects of seed trade
  • Management of beneficials in organic farming
  • Product quality of organic products
  • Development and evaluation of animal housing systems respecting animal welfare and behaviour
  • Fodder rations in organic animal husbandry
  • Techniques and engineering in organic farming
  • Alternative energy (solar- & wind energy, biogas, ...)
  • Development of material flows and of yields after a regional or national conversion to organic farming
  • Economical aspects of organic farming at farm and community level
  • Sustainability, poverty and organic agriculture. Developing strategies for policy and practice
  • The Potential of Traditional Ecological Knowledge for innovations and development in organic farming
  • Seed quality and multiplication of seeds, legal aspects of seed trade
  • Genetic Engineering and its possible influence and risks to organic farming
  • Development of material flows and of yields after a regional or national conversion to organic farming;
  • Renewable resources in Organic Farming (hemp, flax, dye plants)
  • Development and evaluation of animal housing systems respecting animal welfare and behaviour
  • Techniques and engineering in organic farming
  • Alternative energy (solar- & wind energy, biogas,)
  • Treatment of manure to reduce losses of nutrients
  • Economical aspects of organic farming at farm and community level
  • Development of the animal needs index (TGI)
  • Product quality of organic products

 

Research Needs

  • Nutrient recycling for farms and entire regions
  • Energy efficiency in plant production and livestock husbandry
  • Renewable resources for energy and industry
  • Maintenance and enhancement of fertility
  • Disease prevention in livestock husbandry
  • Integration of livestock husbandry and plant production
  • Economic, social and policy prerequisites to promote the development of organic farming
  • Horticulture design
  • Wine and fruit production
  • Quality assessment
  • Nutrient recycling for farms and entire regions
  • Energy efficiency in plant production and livestock husbandry
  • Renewable resources for energy and industry
  • Maintenance and enhancement of fertility
  • Dzisease prevention in livestock husbandry
  • Integration of livestock husbandry and plant production
  • Economic, social and policy prerequisites to promote the development of organic farming
  • Horticulture
  • Wine production
  • Quality assessment

Research Needs

There is no experimental farm where university research could be carried out.

Co-ordination

Documentation of research results

For Boku research see Boku project database for Research projects www.boku.ac.at/oekoland

 

Dissemination

Some farmers and organic producers organisations turn to the agricultural university with their questions, but many of the farmers questions (80 %) are, however, related to advisory service or literature review and not to scientific research. Scientists from Austria, Switzerland and Germany are frequently invited to courses for organic farmers organised by organic producers organisations in the wintertime or to courses in organic farming for advisors organised by the Ministry for Agriculture. Several research projects were developed in close collaboration between scientists and organic producer organisations.

 

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Belgium

General

So far there are only few research activities but some regional agricultural authorities carry out some research.

 

Main Research Institutions

  • Centre Technique pour le Development de l'Agriculture et de, l'Horticulture Biologique asbl CEB
  • Faculté des sciences agronomiques de l'Etat, Departement de phytotechnie
  • GRIAB, Groupement de Recherche et d'information en, Agriculture Biologique
  • Interprovinciaal Proefcentrum for de biologische Teelt

Research Fields

  • Wheat varieties
  • Plant protection and varieties in organic horticulture

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Czech Republic

General

Until now there are only few organic agriculture research activities. There is no national research programme for organic farming

Main Research Institutions

  • CZU Praha (Czech Agriculture University); 2 ha of experimental fields
  • Southern Czech University (JCU)
  • Research institute of Cow Breeding in Rabobin

State funds

Apart from university based research there is no state funding for organic farming

 

Research Fields

  • Cattle / cow breeding
  • Yields
  • Varieties: cereals, peas, potatoes
  • Solanin content in organic potatoes compared to conventional potatoes
  • Cereals
  • Sheep pastures

 

Research Needs

  • Varieties for organic farming, yields
  • Processing / marketing: alternatives to chemical inputs
  • Importance of organic farming for ecosystems environmental benefits of organic farming (important for government)

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

The Fund of Organic Farming (FOA) did some coordination activities in 1994/95; also JCU (Southern Czech University) was active. The dissemination of information via the organic farming information centre / FOA , but there has been no further development since the mid nineties. Dissemination is also done by Pro Bio, an organic producer association

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Denmark

General

The promotion of organic farming has been part of Danish government policy for several years. A major initiative in this respect has been the establishment of the Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming (DARCOF) in 1996.

DARCOF is a "centre without walls" where scientists remain in their own environments but work across institutions. DARCOF consists of 20 institutes with approximately 140 scientists and about 30 ongoing projects.

 

Main Research Institutions

Research in organic Development projects are carried out by the Danish advisory services and by several farmer and trade organizations.

State funds

30 mio Euro 200-2005 for DARCOF II

= 6 mio Euro per year

= 4 % of agricultural research funds

 

Research Fields

Research projects in DARCOF

Research Needs

From 1996 to 2000 six main research programs, involving 33 projects at a total cost of ca. 15 Mio. Euro were carried out within the framework of DARCOF.

Following the conclusion of the second action plan for organic farming a new major research initiative - DARCOF II was initiated (2000-2005).

The objectives are to provide information on

  • organic production methods
  • inherent quality
  • organic quality (environment, animal welfare, other organic principles)

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

Organic agriculture research is mainly co-ordinated by the Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming DARCOF. The remit of DARCOF is to initiate and co-ordinate Danish research in organic farming. The centre synthesizes and communicates scientific information across traditional boundaries and disciplines.

Co-operation with other Nordic countries in the Working group on «Sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic agricultural production"

 

Documentation

  • DARCOF-Database
  • Publications of DARCOF
  • DARCOF-Biannual report with all information

 

Dissemination

  • DARCOF-Newsletter for advisors

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Estonia

General

There has not been much research in the field of organic farming, but the high importance of research is clearly recognized by several institutions dealing with organic farming.

On-farm research is especially needed, e.g. to find out appropriate crop rotations and varieties.

 

Main Research Institutions

  • Centre for Ecological Engineering Estonian (CEET)
  • Estonian Agricultural University (EAU)
  • Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute

 

State funds

There is interest to develop research on organic farming, but it is difficult to find the financial resources required.

In 2000 Estonian Ministry of Agriculture financed few projects (in total EURO 36 000)

In 2001 there were no projects financed

 

Research Fields

  • Plant protection
  • Overview of the main problems of organic farms, particularly dairy farms
  • Vegetable and grain variety tests
  • On-farm research: appropriate crop rotations and grain and potato varieties

Research Needs

  • Maintenance and enhancement of soil fertility, nutrient recycling
  • Crop rotations for vegetable and field crops productions
  • Organic fruit and berries production
  • Variety tests
  • Different aspects of organic animal husbandry
  • Economic aspects
  • Food processing, storage and marketing

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

The Estonian Organic Farming Foundation (EOFF) was founded for the coordination and initiation of organic farming research.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Environmental Bureau, is responsible for the development of the organic farming sector

A list of projects is available on websites of different institutions

EAU http://www.eau.ee/

CEET http://www.ceet.ee/

Results of projects are disseminated to farmers by CEET and EOFF during field days, seminars, workshops and journal on organic farming.

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Finland

General

In Finland, research for organic agriculture covers practically all aspects of organic production, although emphasis is clearly put on plant production.

The MTT Environmental Research Partala in Juva, Eastern Finland, has a key role in research of organic farming. The research station is a part of the Resource Management Research of Agrifood Research Finland (MTT). The University of Helsinki especially the Rural Research and Training Centre, are continuously carrying out research projects in organic production.

There are numerous of research and development projects financed by the state and the EU and administrated by the regional Employment and Economic Development Centres.

 

Main Research Institutions and State funds

  • Agricultural Research Centre of Finland (MTT), Resource Management Research
  • University of Helsinki, Department of Plant Production
  • In 1997 ARCF had 27 research projects concerning organic farming (2.9 million EUR) which was about eight percent of its total budget.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry finances research projects in organic agriculture annually with about 1.6 million EUR.

Research Fields

The current research programme on organic farming of the Agricultural Research Centre of Finland (MTT), Resource Management Research includes the following projects:

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

  • Research is very fragmented; many small projects. In the future there should be more co-ordination

Documentation

The VIRNA-Database of the Agricultural Research Centre Finland (MTT) is a literature database with more than 1000 Finish and international references for organic farming.

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France

General

Organic Farming research takes place at a number of Institutions, like the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Universities, écoles nationales, research centres as well as at private research institutes like ITAB - Institute Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique and Groupe de recherche in Agriculture Biologique .

Main Research Institutions

State funds

No information

 

Research Fields

Cultivation Systems

  • Crop Rotations
  • Fruit, vegetable and wine cultivation (nutrients, weed control, rotation, environmental quality)
  • Conversion
  • Grassland
  • Grain and buckwheat cultivation
  • Sheep production
  • Nitrogen mineralisation, farm yard manure, composting
  • Nitrate leaching, water quality
  • Economic aspects
  • Quality

Research Needs

INRA plans or prioritises research in ecological agriculture.

Dissemination and Co-ordination

  • Institut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique (ITAB) with its two regional organisations (the Groupe de Recherche en Agriculture Biologique (GRAB) in Avignon and the Groupement d’Agriculture Biologique du Nord, GABNORD in Lille) co-ordinates applied research and on-farm activities.
  • The French Institut National de Recherche Agronomique INRA has made a start to co-ordinate its organic farming research in 1999. In January 2000 an analysis of the French organic agriculture situation and a research programme was published by INRA.
  • Documentation
  • INRA publishes the research results in its publication series.
  • Documentation is also done by the Centre National de Ressources en Agriculture Biologiques
  • Dissemination of research results via the advisors:
  • Conventional Advisory Service
  • Advisory Service of the organic producer organizations, and the umbrella organization of the producers FNAB

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Germany

General

Research for organic agriculture covers most aspects of organic production, although emphasis is clearly put on plant production. Research is mainly carried out at university level. Professorial chairs for organic agriculture have been established at several universities and technical colleges. It is possible to earn a special degree in organic agriculture at the universities of Witzenhausen (since 1996) and Bonn (since 1999).

A major development was the establishment of a state research institute for organic agriculture in December 2000 (Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft (FAL), Institut für ökologischen Landbau).

Applied research takes place at regional research stations.

 

Main Research Institutions

State funds

As most research is done by universities which are funded at a regional level it is difficult find out how much monies are spent in total. As to projects funded at a federal level no information given by the federal authorities. Under the new action plan for organic agriculture (Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau) lasting for 2 years, 10 Mio. Euro will be allocated to organic farming research. Within this programme research priorities had been identified.

 

Research Fields

  • Cultivation systems
  • Crop production
  • Vegetable production
  • Fibre production
  • Soil cultivation
  • Nutrient supply
  • Farm manure
  • Green manuring
  • Seed issues
  • Weed control
  • Plant protection
  • Soil biology
  • Animal husbandry
  • Animal health index
  • Market issues
  • Homeopathic treatment of animals
  • Energy flows

Research Needs

According to the German Federal Programme for Organic Farming

  • Creation of stable agro-ecosystems
  • Research and developments on certain crops (field vegetables, maize, sugar beet, rape)
  • Development of cultivation concepts for special cultures like vines, hops, fruit, medicinal plants
  • Development of concepts for stockless farms
  • Development of mixed-cropping systems and of minimal tillage systems for organic farming
  • Improvement of rotations
  • Development of concepts for disease regulation, for weed control, for pest control
  • Development and improvement of old an new crop and animal varieties
  • Development of concepts for keeping organic products free of genetically engineered products
  • Development of breeding concepts and aims in organic farming
  • Development of adapted machinery
  • Improvement of the quality of organic products

Animal Husbandry

· Development of special breeding methods

· Improvement of animal genetic resources

· Development of adequate housing and keeping systems

· Optimisation of feed rations

· Improvement of the Quality of animal products

Biodiversity and nature conservation

· Measures to improve conservation aspects in organic farming

· Improvement of production techniques on organic farming under consideration of conservation aspects

 

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

Germany has no national coordination of organic farming research. The coordination of the scientific conference on organic farming in the German language region is based in Germany (by Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau). With its conference proceedings much of the ongoing research is documented.

Applied research takes mainly at the research stations of the lander is coordinated by the "Arbeitsgruppe der Versuchsansteller im ökologischen Landbau".

 

Documentation

A list of state funded organic farming projects funded at a federal level in Germany is available via the project database of the DaiNet.

The proceedings of the scientific conference on organic farming in the German language region document the current status of organic farming research.

 

Dissemination

There is no coordinated dissemination strategy of organic farming research. Dissemination of research results is via the specialised organic agriculture magazines, and the Beraterrundbrief - the SÖL-Bulletin for organic advisors.

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Great Britain

Main Research Institutions

 

Research Fields

  • Agricultural weed control
  • Horticultural weed control
  • Plant propagation
  • Perennial weed control
  • Parasites in livestock
  • Nutrient transfer: manure-plants
  • Seedborne and seedling diseases
  • Nutrients from permanent fertilisers: supply and availability
  • At SAC: Nutrient dynamics across the rotation, maintenance of crop health
  • Conversion process: set-aside and organic rotation, economics of stockless systems, economics of organic poultry production
  • Many research projects in co-operation with environmental organisations

Research Needs

A consultation of organic farming research priorities in the UK was carried out by the Organic Centre Wales, Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2001.

 

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

In the UK the Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) has taken on the role of coordination organic farming research. It aims to improve the dialogue between organic researchers. From 2002 onwards it will regularly hold conferences.

A project database compiled by ADAS contains organic farming research projects in Europe.

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Greece

General

As yet, there is no University Department or Research Institute devoted exclusively to organic agriculture. However, the Agricultural Universities have included modules concerning various aspects of organic agriculture, in their courses. Researchers deal with the specific problems of organic agriculture and often contribute in solving problems of organic farmers. Socio-economic research is also carried out but of limited scope.

The National Agricultural Research Foundation appointed three research positions for organic farming at the end of 2000. The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute at Chania (MAICh) performs research and training activities in the field of organic farming, including scientific networks, research projects, market surveys, short courses and seminars.

 

Main Research Institutions

  • Cooperative Research Network on Indigenous Farming Techniques in the Mediterranean Region, MAICH - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania
  • Technological Educational Institute of Crete
  • Ecological Production Systems & Sustainable Rural Development Unit, Institute of Viticulture and Horticulture
  • MAICH Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania
  • Technological Educational Institute of Crete
  • REA - Hellenic Interscientific Association for Organic Agriculture

State funds

No information

Research Fields

Insect management with traps instead of pesticides

Co-ordination

No organised co-operation between researchers and farmers

  • Co-ordination of Greek IFOAM members, c/o Technological Educational Institute of Crete
  • Cooperative Research Network on Indigenous Farming Techniques in the Mediterranean Region, MAICH - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania
  • IFOAM-Mediterranean Group - Research Co-ordination

Documentation and Dissemination

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Hungary

General

Up to now, little specific research is done on organic agriculture, except for many theses and dissertations. The Department of Ecological and Sustainable Production Systems of the Szent István University in Budapest has a professorial chair. The department introduced organic farming as subject in 1992.

Research on organic agriculture also takes place at the St. Stephen University at Gödöllö, which has a professorial chair for organic agriculture.

 

Main Research Institutions

  • St. Stephen University, Institute for Environmental Management
  • Szent István University, Department of Ecological and Sustainable Production Systems
  • Debrecen Agricultural University
  • Field research / demonstration at Dabioszele.

State funds

Very little. Funds for university research are given by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education.

 

Research Fields

Current research topics include:

  • ecological weed management (organic weed management techniques, including developing machines for mechanical weed control);
  • the effect of climatic changes on weed flora;
  • ecological crop rotation systems;
  • the influence of tillage on the weed seed content of the soil;
  • environmental policy,
  • environmental consciousness and environmental information.
  • Ecological bee keeping (feeding)
  • Arable farming
  • Mulching Systems
  • Organic Seeds: Pepper

Research Needs

Needs in all fields

 

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

  • Co-ordination of organic farming research in Central and Eastern Europe by the Department of Ecological and Sustainable Production Systems of the Szent István University.

Dissemination

  • A three Volume book on organic farming was written by Prof. Rradics of the Department of Ecological and Sustainable Production Systems of the Szent István University
  • Conferences
  • Publications in scientific magazines
  • Articles in farmers' magazines: conventional and organic

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Iceland

General

So far not much research is carried out, even though there is a substantial need for information on organic farming under Icelandic conditions. The main research efforts related to organic cultivation have involved legumes and organic fertilisers. It is hoped that the establishment of clear research priorities will serve as a guideline for the preparation and funding of short- and long-term experimental projects. A special research effort is clearly needed.

Main Research Institutions

  • Hvanneyri Agricultural University College
  • Reykir Horticultural College
  • The Agricultural Research Institute

State funds

Estimated less than 1 %

Research Fields

  • Legumes under Icelandic conditions
  • Organic Fertilisers; fish meal
  • Organic vegetable growing

Research Needs

In 1995 an ad hoc Ministry of Agriculture working group identified the main areas in which research in organic agriculture should have a priority. These were approved by the organic Science Council in 1998.
  • Supply and utilisation of organic fertilisers for crop production, including glasshouse cultivation
  • Breeding and growing legumes suitable for Icelandic climatic conditions
  • Control of pests and diseases in crops and livestock
  • Development and adaptation of suitable machinery and buildings for organic farms
  • Economic aspects of organic farming, including marketing

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

Co-ordination is though the organic science Council. The Organic Science Council, founded in November 1997, links together organic farmers, advisors, researchers, teachers, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture. Discussions on priorities in research and advisory work. Results are published in farming journals and included in meetings and conferences on agricultural issues. Mutual exchange of ideas and solutions to problems specific to organic farming.

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Ireland

General There are no research institutions specialised in organic farming research. Organic farming research projects are, however, carried out some state research stations. Research on organic farming is carried out at Johnstown Castle in the South East of Ireland, a state research station with a demonstration farm. A major project looks at organic dairy farming and related issues (manure management, mastitis, breeding). At the Teagasc Centre in Athenry, County Galway, a network of organic farms will be monitored. Teagasc Oakpark will commence research on organic cereals during 2000.

  • Main Research Institutions

  • Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority Teagasc, Soft Fruit and Beekeeping Research Centre
  • Moountbellew Agricultural College
  • The National Food Centre, Teagasc

State funds

No information

Research Needs

  • Organic Sheep and cattle production
  • Economics of organic sheep and cattle husbandry
  • Organic herb production
  • Seed compost quality
  • Organic dairy production

Research Fields

Research is in areas such as horticulture production (both polytunnel and field scale), livestock parasite control, livestock breeding

  • Organic dairy production in an Irish context
  • How best to address viral and other animal diseases in an organic system
  • Optimum dosing regime for sheep and cattle and acceptable parasite level at which justification for dosing against should be permitted (fluke and worms). Acceptable parasite levels have to be found for each type of parasite
  • Protein Sources suitable under Irish production systems
  • Trials on horticulture to encourage development of horticultural sector

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Italy

General

Compared to the high number of organic farms in Italy there is very little organic farming research so far. Research activities happen at various universities, e.g. the universities of Ancona and Perugia and at regional research stations. Lack of research and lack of advisory service are weak points, demonstration is quite well developed.

Main Research Institutions

State funds

No information

Research Fields

  • Structural evolution of organic farming in Italy
  • Competitiveness of organic farming as a whole and of individual products
  • Organic farming and agrotourism
  • Advisory needs of organic farmers
  • Marketing strategies
  • Evaluation of local, national and European legislation

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

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Netherlands

General

Since 1976, the Louis Bolk Institute has been a pioneer in scientific research and innovation in organic farming, food and medicine. A lot of the organic farming research takes place at Wageningen University.A lot of the organic farming research takes place at Wageningen University.

Applied research programmes at almost all research stationsApplied research programmes at almost all research stations

Main Research Institutions

State funds

In order to solve bottlenecks in organic farming a powerful research policy is needed. In 1999, 176 research projects existed specifically for organic farming, totalling approximately 5.5 million Euro.

The exact share of the Ministry of Agriculture is estimated at approximately 3.6 million Euro.

This is approximately 0.5 percent of the total budget of the Ministry of Agriculture for research, education and extension (approximately 773 million Euro). The total budget includes research for conventional farming that can contribute to organic farming.

Research Fields

  • By far most of the money allocated to organic farming research (approximately 2.5 million Euro) concerns horticultural projects.
  • Dairy farming is next with approximately 0.9 million Euro,
  • and fruit with approximately 0.45 million Euro.
  • The other sectors have budgets of less than 0.5 million Euro.
  • Practically all research stations now undertake research for their organic sector.

Most research is aimed at the development of farming systems in general, such as housing, crop rotation, soil fertility and farm economics. On top of that much attention is paid to pests and diseases affecting production.

Research Needs

  • Keeping organic agriculture free of genetic engineering
  • Less developed areas in organic agriculture

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

In the Netherlands an intensive network exists of advisors, who translate the results of fundamental and applied research to different strategies of farm management, technically as well as economically.

 

Norway

General

The only Norwegian organic research institute is the Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture.

Some research is also carried out at the Norwegian Agricultural University Norges Landbrukshøgskole at some agricultural schools.

The Planteforsk (The Norwegian Crop Research Institute) also does research on organic agriculture.

Main Research Institutions

State funds

Research is mainly funded through Ministry of Agriculture and Research Council of Norway, ca 1,5 million Euro per year.

Research Fields

  • Feed production
  • Vegetable production
  • Plant production
  • Soil cultivation
  • Grain and potato cultivation techniques
  • Management of natural resources
  • Energy efficiency

Research Needs

Increase the sustainability in organic farming in the long term regarding sufficient supply of nutrients, animal welfare, biodiversity, energy use, economy and human welfare.

  • Recycling of nutrients in the society, improvement of fertility of Norwegian soils
  • Sustainable utilisation of outlying field inhabited by wild animals
  • Find strategies for how different farms can survive economically
  • Decrease the costs for transport and sales
  • Create production systems that prevent diseases and parasites on domestic animals and crops and controls weeds.
  • Develop/improve systems to combine the principles for organic agriculture and practical, timesaving ways of working
  • Parameters for suitable / not suitable conditions for organic agriculture.

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

Coordination is done by the Norwegian Research Committee for Organic Agriculture based at Norsok.

Information is transferred through the organic advisory circles and gatherings with the farmers (16 throughout the country).

Procedure:

1. Farmer needs answers to questions
2. Advisor helps the farmer to formulate the questions
3. Advisor hands over the questions to the research system. Sometimes the system has its own questions.
4. Questions are put together in local experiments; the local circles perform these experiments.
5. Results are recorded and returned to the research system. They make calculations etc.
6. Researchers make reports, produce papers for local meetings, courses etc.
7. New answers produce new questions.

Some response is also given back to the researchers through direct response from the farmers to the advisors and researchers, through farm studies, and in that farmers and advisors are members of the same boards of various research projects.

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Poland

Main Research Institutions

  • University of Warmia and Mazury (Uniwersytet Warmii i Mazur) in Olsztyn,
  • Agricultural University (Akademia Rolnicza) in Kraków,
  • Agricultural University (Akademia Rolnicza) in Lublin,
  • Marine University (Wyzsza Szkola Morska) w Gdynia and Agricultural University (SGGW) in Warsaw.

State funds

No information

 

Research Fields

Since 1987 at the Department of Organic Foodstuffs at the Warsaw Agricultural University scientific research has been done on the following issues:

  • impact of ecological production methods on:
  • quality of plant crops
  • quality of drainage water
  • pests and weeds populations at the field
  • quality of milk and dairy cows health
  • organic food marketing
  • socio - economic aspects of organic farming
  • legal and organisational aspects of organic farming.

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Portugal

General

There are no institutions working specifically for organic agriculture. Occasionally there are some experiments, namely with demonstration fields, which may supply data to some paper on the matter.

The most common situation is that organic farming benefits mainly from the research in the domain of integrated protection. The agrarian school of Castelo branco stated with the academic year 1998/99 with a subject on organic agriculture. It is the first high school to have a subject specialised on this matter.

State funds

No information

Research Fields

Past research

  • 1995 a work on the control of Lobesia botrana through sexual confusion by Carlos Frescata
  • In 1998 the Institute of Employment and Professional training (IEFP) produces a document elaborated by two private enterprises: GEOIDEIA /Espaco e Desenvolvimento; called "Potentialities in the Creation of employment through organic farming". It has much information based on field work

There are some demonstration fields in the farms of some organic farmers which are visited mainly by schools.

Research Needs

Some of the most striking needs are stated in the book produced y GEOIDEA

  • Improvement in the production techniques
  • Research, Experimentation and demonstration
  • Specialized academic teaching and professional training
  • Decrease of the costs of the Production and sale prices to the consumer
  • Organization of the production and trade (farmers' organizations)
  • certification
  • Grant of Subsidies dependent on a more structured entity (farmers' organizations, technical support).

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

  • Not much co-operation.
  • The existing demonstration fields could achieve this goal, but they are essentially visited by schools of the secondary level.

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Slovenia

General

Until now, there has not been any research on organic production technologies, with the exception of some limited research on the suitability of vegetable cultivars for organic production (Agricultural Institute of Ljubljana) and some graduate theses and some research at university level.

Applied research is carried out by the Institute for Sustainable Development - Institut za trajnostni razvoj

Main Research Institutions

  • Institute for Sustainable Development - Institut za trajnostni razvoj
  • University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Agriculture
  • University of Maribor, Faculty for Agriculture

State funds

No information

Research Fields

  • Suitability of vegetable cultivars for organic production
  • Marketing issues (consumer opinions and attitudes towards organic products)
  • Economics
  • Standardisation of organic farming
  • Conversion to organic farming and on marketing are in progress

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Spain

General There are no research institutions working specifically for organic agriculture.General There are no research institutions working specifically for organic agriculture. Research is mainly carried out at private initiatives of scientists, universities, organic associations.

Main Research Institutions

No information

Documentation and Dissemination

Sweden

General

The main actor is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), with its Centre of Sustainable Agriculture. The universities of Lund, Gothenburg, Västerås and Stockholm also carry out projects relevant to organic agriculture. The Biodynamic Research Institute Foundation (Stiftelsen Biodynamiska Forskningsinstitutet, SBFI is an independent institute at Järna. In total there are about 100 researchers working on more than 200 research projects about organic farming Research in organic agriculture has been going on since the beginning of the 1980’s. In 1989, SLU got ist first chair of organic agriculture.

Main Research Institutions

State funds 35 million Swedish Crowns per year until 2003

Research Fields

  • Food Quality
  • Farmer Participatory Research
  • Integration Farm animals with plant Production
  • Sustainable Production Systems ­ System Analysis
  • Horticulture
  • Domestic Animals
  • Soil/Plant
  • Technology
  • Economy

Research Needs

In 1999 CUL finalised a research programme for organic agriculture. It contains goals and an agreed platform for sustainable and ecological agriculture and co-ordinated, prioritised research areas. Nine areas have been elaborated by groups of researchers, advisors and farmers.

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

Coordination of organic farming research is done by Centrum for uthalligt lantbruk (CUL), the Centre of Sustainable agriculture. Cooperation with other Nordic countries happens in the Working group on "Sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic agricultural production". This group is co-ordinated by CUL.

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Switzerland

General

Since 1974, the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) at Frick has been the centre of competence in organic farming in Switzerland. FiBL employs a staff of eighty scientists and technicians in the areas of research and advice.

Applied agricultural research is carried out by six federal research stations. Some of their research activities involve organic farming, especially the research programme of the Swiss Federal Research Station for Agro-ecology and Agriculture (FAL) in Zurich-Reckenholz. There are various activities at the Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).

Main Research Institutions

State funds

Most research is state funded, some funding through private sources, farmers' associations, supermarkets. FiBL receives 2,9 million Euro per year from 2002.

Research Fields

FiBL Research on:

  • Soil cultivation
  • Soil fertility,
  • Biodiversity
  • Plant health, predators
  • Animal husbandry
  • Landscape ecology
  • Economy,
  • social aspects

The current state research programme can be found at the internet site: http://www.admin.ch/sar/en/research/index.htm.

Research Needs

  • Holistic approach to animal health (integrating breeding/ selection, housing/ ethology, feeding and alternative veterinary medicine)
  • technical progress in horticultural crops
  • development of low input and minimum tillage systems in arable crops
  • plant breeding without genetic engineering
  • ecological and socio-economic implications of regional conversion
  • filling the gap of knowledge on product quality
  • processing methods of organic food
  • eco-audit systems in organic agriculture

Co-ordination, Documentation and Dissemination

In Switzerland a working group comprised of members of FiBL and of the six federal research stations co-ordinates common projects

The Arbeitsgruppe Forschung für biol.-dyn. Landwirtschaft (AGF) coordinates biodynamic research.

There is a lose co-operation of advisors and researchers, as they are all employed or co-ordinated by FiBL / Bio-Berater-Vereinigung FiBL makes its research results available to agricultural practitioners and advisors with attractive leaflets.

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Addresses of Research Institutions in Europe

Addresses of the Institutions mentioned in the text are available here.


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Authors / Contact

Dr. Uli Zerger
Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau (SÖL)
Weinstraße Süd 51, D-67098 Bad Dürkheim
Tel. +49-(0)-6322-989700, Fax +49-(0)-6322-989701
E-Mail:mailto:info@soel.de Internet: http://www.soel.de/

 

Dr. Helga Willer
Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL)
Ackerstraße/Postfach
CH - 5070 Frick
Tel: +41-62-865-72-72 Fax: +41-62-8657273, E-Mail
admin@fibl.org, Interent http://www.fibl.org/

 

References


Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999

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[3] References Austria
  • Prof. Dr. Bernhard Freyer, University of Vienna : Written Communication of 3.9.2001
  • Pohl, Alexandra: Pohl, Alexandra: Organic Farming in Austria.http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/austria/default.asp. Last modified 30.5.2001. Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, 2001
  • Vogl, Christian: written communication July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
[4] References Belgium
  • Boxem, Herman van, written comment, July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
[5] Reference Czech Republic
[6] References Denmark
  • Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming (DARCOF); Danish Research in Organic farming, DK-Tjele
  • Fibinger Norfelt, Thomas: Organic Farming in Norway. http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/denmark/default.asp. Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, 2001
  • Jorgensen, Thomas Vang, written communication July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
  • Steen Kristensen, Erik: Oral Communication, 24.7.2001
[7] References Estonia
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[8] References Finland
  • Heinonen, Sampsa: Organic Farming in Finland. http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/finland/default.asp. Last modified 30.3.2000. Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, 2001
  • Heinonen, Sampsa: : written communication July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
[9] Reference France
  • Reynaud, Michel and Wanda Schmidt: Organic Agriculture in France, http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/france /default.asp, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, Last modified, 2.11.2001
[10] Reference Germany
  • Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau, www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de
  • Haccius, Manon; Immo Lünzer: Organic Agriculture in Germany 2001, http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/germany/default.asp, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, Last modified 15.5.2001
[11] References Great Britain
[12] References Greece
[13] Reference Hungary
  • Prof. Dr. László Radics, Szent István University, Department of Ecological and Sustainable Production Systems oral communication of 19.9.2001
  • Frühwald, Ferenc: Organic Farming in Hungary, http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/hungary/ default.asp, last modified 31.3.2000
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[14] References Iceland
  • Dyrmundsson, Olafur: Organic Farming in Iceland. http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/iceland/default.asp. Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, 2001
  • Dyrmundsson, Olafur: written communication July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
[15] Reference Ireland
  • Gibney, Noreen: Organic Farming in Ireland, http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/ireland/ default.asp; last modified 30.3.2000
[16] Reference Italy
  • Prof Dr. Raffaele Zanoli, University of Ancona - Dibiaga - Faculty of Agricultural, Sciences, Dipartimento Biotecnologie Agrarie e Ambientali, written communication of September 2001
  • Compagnoni, Antonio; Roberto Pinton; Raffaele Zanoli: Organic Farming in Italy; http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/ italy/default.asp, Last modified 23.7.2001
[18] References Norway
  • Johnsen, Kaare and Emil Mohr: Organic Farming in Norway. http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/norway/default.asp. Last modified 30.3.2000. Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, 2001
  • Johnsen, Kaare: written communication July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
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[19] Reference Poland
  • Metera, Dorota: Organic Farming in Poland, http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/poland /default.asp, 5.6.2001
[20] References Portugal
  • Prof. Dr. Ana Firmino, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciencias Sociais e Humanas, written communication of 1.9.2001
  • Ana Firmino: Organic Farming in Portugal (http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/ portugal/default.asp, last modified 6.9.2001
  • Ana Firmino: written communication July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
  • GEOIDEIA / Espaco e Desenvolvimento: Potencialidades de Criaçao de Emprego no ambito da Agricultura Biologica IEFP, Lisboa, p. 94-95.IEFP, Lisboa, p. 94-95.
[21] Reference Slovenia
  • Anamarija Slabe: Organic Farming in Slovenia (http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/slovenia/ default.asp, last modified 20.3.2001
[22] Reference Spain
  • Picazos, Joan and Angeles Parra: Organic Agriculture in Spain, http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/ spain/default.asp, last modified, 31.3.2001
[23] References Sweden
  • Källander, Inger: Organic Farming in Sweden. http://www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/sweden/default.asp. Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau, Bad Dürkheim, Germany, 2001
  • Höök, Karin: written communication July 1998, documented in Willer, Helga and Uli Zerger, 1999: Demand of Research and Development in Organic Farming in Europe. In: Zanoli, R. and R. Krell (Eds.): First SREN Workshop on Research Methodologies in Organic Farming. Proceedings. http://www.fao.org/regional/europe/PUB/RTS58.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO, Rome 1999
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[24] Reference Switzerland

Niggli, Urs: Organic Farming in Switzerland, at www.organic-europe.net/country_reports/switzerland/default.asp, 31.3.2000


Bad Dürkheim /Frick
15.3.2002
Comments to the author