LIVING LAB 1: Czech Republic
Forest-Agro Hrušky, spol. s r.o.
Managed by: Aneta Kohútová – private farmer
Forest-Agro Hrušky, spol. s.r.o. is an entity that farms in the area of South Moravia between the districts of Břeclav and Hodonín, in one of the sparsely forested parts of the Czech Republic, which, however, is characterized by typical intensive agricultural production.
Forest-Agro Hrušky, spol. s.r.o. aims to break the pattern of intensive agriculture by implementing more ecological farming practices. Their motivation is to promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to agriculture in harmony with nature.
General farming approach
Grow agricultural crops profitably and, at the same time, contribute to the natural balance of the landscape, actively increase the diversity of the landscape mosaic, and thus improve the conditions for the occurrence of wild plants and animals.
To mitigate the climatic extremes resulting from the monocultural and large-scale nature of the South Moravian agricultural landscape, which lacks natural barriers to wind erosion and tree-like greenery that improves the microclimate of the immediate surroundings.
Currently, the biggest problem is the fight with the authorities and subsidy rules.
On the one hand, they are encouraged to introduce agroforestry and a comprehensive approach, including the construction of landscape elements and the perception of the ecological importance of the landscape. On the other hand, their efforts are constantly undermined by new and often meaningless rules for the recognition of these landscape elements among “eco-payments” and the granting of financial rewards arising from their existence.
The whole system is highly demotivating and they are currently being shortchanged for the fact that we have built agroforestry elements instead of being rewarded for the ecological contribution to the landscape.
- the relationship between forestry and agroforestry measures,
- the European agricultural policy and the national policy of the Czech Republic,
- subsidy policy for the undergrowth of agroforestry measures, administrative complexity and effectiveness of support measures,
- information and advisory system for those interested in agroforestry measures.
In the methodological area of the research, we are dealing with questions of ascertaining and measuring the effectiveness of agroforestry measures.
Design of the agroforestry system
However, the challenges posed by bureaucratic complexities and limited financial support have hindered their progress. The nearby region’s low forest coverage and intensive agricultural practices highlight the need for ecological solutions.
Given the prevalence of large-scale farming in the surrounding area, the farm’s endeavors to introduce ecological elements that benefit the landscape and address the issue of increasing aridity are commendable.
Agrosystems divide large fields on which agricultural crops are grown; they are an important landscape element in the middle of the agricultural landscape.
Overcoming barriers and securing more support for agroforestry initiatives will be crucial in achieving long-term success and contributing to the overall sustainability of the region’s agricultural practices.
Possibilities of support from the state, issues of the distribution of support and financial resources and motivational instruments of the state’s agricultural policy, as well as the experiences of individual farmers with the possibilities of agricultural measures are the goal of our research within the framework of LL, methodologically based on sociological research methods (questionnaire surveys, controlled interviews, etc.)