|Posted on June 14, 2016 at 3:00 AM|
On the 3rd of May we conducted an interview with Simone and her colleague Anne from Regina GmbH in Neumarkti.d.OPf. Simone and Anne are the project managers of the project called Model Region for Organic Farming in the district of Neumarkt. This project is a product of the initiative called BioRegion Bayern 2020, which was put forward by the Minister of Agriculture of Bavaria in 2013. There is a growing trend for consumers these days to demand organically grown produce. The minister saw the trend and initiated this project with the intention of strengthening organic agriculture with more education, better consulting, knowledge transfer, financial incentives and more marketing and research.
There is a weak background of organic farming in Germany and only about 6% of farmers are farming organically. There is a high demand for organic products in Germany, but too few producers of organic products. So, Germany has to import organic products from elsewhere. One of the biggest goals of this initiative is to double the area of organic farming by the year 2020. The result of this is that Bavaria and even Germany will have to import less organic products from outside. Some other goals are to increase crop variety, reduce farm sizes andto increase biodiversity in the region.
Bavaria is still one of the regions in Germany that has many small family owned farms and these farms fit with this model of supporting organic farming and ensuring the produce is sold within the country. A key result of this type of local trading is transportation is reduced thereby reducing the CO2 footprint from the farmer.The state is supporting organic farmers, regardless of the size of the farm. They have found that the best way for small family farms to survive on the organic market is to develop and maintain a closed circuits for their energy use and reusing waste products as inputs. This includes using energy that is produced through sustainable methods, like wind, solar and biogas production. Using a closed circuit system also means that you use your own organic waste and grow your own feed for your animals. There is also no need to buy fertilizer so there is little or no expenditure and transport costs for chemicals. They do not need to buy electricity frequently either, therefore improving their income against their expenditure. Many family farms now go this way so that they can more easily sustain themselves.
For a region to became one of the Model Regions for Organic Farming the region had to submit a concept to an application jury who reviews the concept. If your region was selected, it became one of 12 Models Region for Organic Farming in Bavaria.
There are only 4 years left to reach the ambitious goals set in Bayern 2020 goals, however Simone and Anne are certain that these goals will eventually be achieved as there is a definite increase in the number of organic farming in the region. We wish Simone and Anne good luck with their projects and we appreciate them offering the time for this interview.
Categories: Government Administration