The Netherlands launched project to improve soil matter content in Poland
The Embassy of the Netherlands has launched a 1-year project with the aim to improve the soil quality in Poland by informing stakeholders on the usage and implementation of sustainable agricultural technologies including use of (fertilizers and soil improvers made of) organic manure and precision farming technologies. It is the ambition that the 1-year project will be followed by a 3-year public private partnership between the Dutch government, Dutch knowledge institutions and companies who could share knowledge and innovation with the Polish stakeholders. The project will be executed in close cooperation with the Dutch Center for Valorisaton of Manure (NCM).
Soils are the basis for a sustainable agricultural production. In Poland, 14 mln hectares of land are being used for agricultural production. These mainly sandy soils are characterized by a limited availability of organic matter and nutrients. Combined with limited water resources and dry summers, there is a need to improve the soil quality in Poland. Not only will it contribute to higher
yields, but it can also serve as a buffer for extreme weather conditions. Soils that contain high levels of organic matter can absorb water much more efficiently and be more resistant to drought. Moreover, soils with a high level of organic matter can retain more nitrogen and other minerals, host more diverse range of soil life and contributes to healthy crops.
To inform the Polish stakeholders (farmers, governmental bodies, agricultural educational institutions, trainers) on how to use and implement sustainable agricultural technologies including the use of organic manure and precision farming technologies the following activities are planned:
- Organization of regional seminars in Poland in order to specify the knowledge level and additional needs of the Polish stakeholders.
- A fact finding mission from the Netherlands to Poland for identification of partners in the knowledge module.
- Development of a knowledge module for Polish stakeholders on how to use organic manure properly in order to improve organic matter.
- Fact finding mission from Poland to the Netherlands to get practical knowhow on improving soil organic matter content.
The ambition is that after an initial 1-year project, there will be a follow up by a private public consortium within a so called ‘Partners International Business’ (PIB). A PIB is a 3-year instrument in which both the Dutch government, knowledge institutions and companies are joining forces and means with their activities on a foreign market. We would like to encourage Dutch companies and knowledge institutions who can contribute to improving the soil quality in Poland to get into contact with the liaison of the project. There is an increase in interest and demand for Dutch sustainable technologies in Poland, considering the current circumstances.
The project will be executed by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Warsaw, in close cooperation with the Dutch Center for Valorisation of Manure (NCM). NCM is a collaboration between government, agribusiness and knowledge institutes which started in 2018. The task of NCM includes of being a knowledge centre and promote collaboration and coordination of the stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
The project was announced during the Circular Agricultural Day on October 10. The goal of the Circular Agricultural Day at the Embassy was to inform the Polish stakeholders about the Dutch approach to circular agriculture and gain better insights into legislation, initiatives, and measures of both countries. Focus during this day was on reduction of food waste and improving soil quality.
Soils as key component of sustainability
For the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, soils is one of the key components to implement the vision towards a circular agriculture in 2030. Aspects that have a major effect on the functioning of soil are management of organic substances and soil fertility, management of soil structure and management of soil life and resilience. Soil management is therefore also crucial to (fresh) water management, especially to prevent damage from drought or flooding. The aim is that in 2030 all agricultural soils are sustainably managed in the Netherlands.