Preparing the Soil for the Future: The European Projects PREPSOIL, EXCALIBUR and the Representative Region of the Po Plain

13 June 2023
Judit Berenyi Uveges
Judit Berenyi Uveges
Preparing the Soil for the Future - Hungary Organic Farm

The PREPSOIL Region Soil Needs workshop "Organic Agriculture – Kecskemét (Hungary)", aiming soil needs assessment on the topic combating desertification and drought in Kelő-ér-Dong-ér watershed (A9 region in Hungary), took place on Kujáni Tanya near Kecskemét on the 24th May 2023.

It was organised by the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi), a project partner in PREPSOIL. Our host and local partner was the Kujáni family who work as farmers and advisors in the region. Relevant stakeholders in the region including farmers, advisors, authorities, farmers associations, education institutions and researchers were invited and altogether 33 participants attended, most stakeholder categories were represented at the workshop.

The plenary session was about setting a scene with presentations. In the first presentation Judit BERÉNYI Üveges (ÖMKi) talked about the PREPSOIL project, the Soil Mission, concept of living labs and lighthouses. Zsuzsanna PRIVÁCZKINÉ HAJDU (department lead, Water Directorate Lower Tisza Region) presented priorities and operational challenges of the water management and climate change effects in the region. Our host, László KUJÁNI (farmer, advisor Kujáni Farm) described what kinds of challenges local farmers face due to climate and land use change. In the last presentation Erzsébet SZTAHURA (expert, National Chamber of Agriculture) talked about the CAP Strategic Plan of Hungary focusing the measures improving soil health.

Water management and soil management are both important aspects in combat desertification and improving soil health and sustainable agriculture in the region participants were divided into 2 groups to discuss challenges, future vision and steps needed to reach it. Sessions were moderated by Judit BERÉNYI ÜVEGES and Katalin KUJÁNI. The first group focused on water management how to retain water in the region and some future plans and possible ways of cooperation between stakeholders. The second group focused on sustainable soil use in the region, techinques that help improving sandy soils. There were discussions about the creation of Living Lab and some topics that could be the object of research were identified. Barriers and possible solution were discussed in both groups.