Training advisors for carbon farming gets funding
Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki (“Support association for soil and water technologies”) has granted funding of € 260,000 to BSAG lead MAANEUVO project (“Sustainable soil management and carbon farming through extensive use of research findings and advisor practices”). The aim of the project is to bring results of the Carbon Action and Ruralia Institute’s OSMO project to the use of agricultural advisers, educate 30 plant production advisors to become experts in soil health, and strengthen collaboration between researchers, advisers and farmers. The project is a collaboration of BSAG, the Ruralia Institute, the Finnish Environment Institute and ProAgria Southern Finland.
Many benefits can be achieved with sustainable soil management and carbon farming: higher yield levels, sequestration of atmospheric carbon, reduced leakages of nutrients and organic matter into waterbodies. In addition, sustainable soil management helps adapting cultivation practices to changing climate conditions.
“Research knowledge of effective measures exists, but we lack practical implementation. That is why MAANEUVO project is essential for advancing carbon farming. We are going to train plant production advisers with our partners and disseminate research knowledge to farmers and advisers”, tells BSAG Project Director Eija Hagelberg.
Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki association was established in 1949 to support water technologies and related environmental technology and soil condition protection.
“The Carbon Action project has several links to soil condition and water management that have already been subject of our support for decades,” tells Maa ja vesitekniikan tuki association executive director Timo Maasilta.
The project is directly connected to the Carbon Action platform (www.carbonaction.org) managed by BSAG where farmers are educated to store carbon in arable lands (carbon farming). In addition, high quality research is created under the leadership of the Finnish Meteorological Institute concerning on the long-term ability to store atmospheric carbon to soils
“Interest towards Carbon Action -project has been exceptionally high among farmers, private sector and decision makers. The bottleneck in the large-scale practical implementation of carbon farming is education of professional advisers and dissemination of research information to advisers and farmers”, Hagelberg says.
“Researchers, advisers and farmers are busy in their daily work, and there is hardly any natural interaction between these groups. However, cooperation is essential when ensuring the dissemination of information for relevant actors. Farmers provide feedback for researchers, while advisers play an important role in communicating research findings to farmers. MAANEUVO is a link in activating the co-operation of these groups”, Hagelberg emphasizes.
The four-year project also enables long-term strategic cooperation between BSAG and Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki association.