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Maximising organic farming

Modern crop varieties have been developed for culture with synthetic fertilisers and growth regulators to combine high productivity and uniform product quality. Partners from the Baltic States analysed the organic agriculture sector focusing on how to optimise the yield, marketing and commercialisation of the final products.
Maximising organic farming
EU directives prohibit the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers in the organic farming system, lowering, however, crop production yields. Such variability in yield and quality can be due to suboptimal varieties being grown for organic systems. To this end, plant varieties and lines need to be carefully selected and evaluated to maximise crop yield.

The objective of the EU-funded ‘Environmental friendly food production system: Requirements for plant breeding and seed production’ (Envirfood) project was to bring together the cereals research expertise within the EU and generate a strong network in the field.

The central project event was a four days seminar, with discussions among plant breeders, specialists and representatives from ministries of agriculture. The current situation in the involved countries was extensively analysed and useful conclusions on the necessary policy measures were derived.

Information was collected using various techniques, such as questionnaires, laboratory experiments, international experience and literature reviews. The results from this national research revealed the necessity to form appropriate guidelines for organic agriculture so that farmers could choose the appropriate varieties for maximal production. This strategy is expected to strengthen organic farming in the region and boost rural economies.

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