Field Trip, Dobrich, Bulgaria – 30.05-31.05.2022

The AGREEN project was launched from 2021 adopting the concept of climate-smart agriculture as an approach to developing agricultural strategies that would guarantee the sustainability of food safety in the context of climate change.

The project is implemented in cooperation with the following partners: Dobrudzha Agrarian and Business School (Bulgaria), Ovidius University of Constanta (Romania), Tekirdag Namik Kemal University (Turkey), “Elkana” Biological Farming Association (Georgia), International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education Foundation (Armenia) and Development Agency of Eastern Thessaloniki Local Authorities (Greece).

Within the framework of the project, a feasibility study was carried out in the cooperating countries which was the basis for testing three different solutions for the Black Sea Basin countries on the experimental plots of the partners in Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia by using the crop modeling method based on endemic varieties․ As a result, climate-smart crops are expected to be available to stakeholders.

On the 30th and 31st of May, 2022, the first field trip took place organized by the Dobrudzha Agrarian and Business School. In each country the selected crops are tested in two ways: climate-smart and traditional. As a result, a comparative analysis will be carried out to understand where and how each crop has performed. The list of crops by country is as follows:

  • Bulgaria
    • Triticale – the test is fully implemented, they are waiting for the crop to ripen
    • Okra – the test is in progress, and the seedlings are ready for transfer to the open field
  • Georgia
    • Organic wheat
    • Clover
    • Cereals, legume and vegetable crops (syntropic farming model)
  • Turkey
    • Sunflower
    • Walnut

We will get to know the results of experiment and technologies used in Georgia and Turkey within separate visits.

During the 2-days event, there were theoretical presentations and discussions about the uniqueness of the selected crops, the effectiveness and possibilities of application methods, as well as demonstration visits to crop growing fields. During the meetings, the selected crops from all the 3 countries were presented and discussed, paying special attention to application technologies that needed to be introduced, taking into account the effects of climate change.

It is important to mention that the experimental field in Bulgaria was owned by research institute and received support from the state for scientific experiments. On the area of about 200 ha, various experiments were being carried out in order to grow and obtain grain varieties (at the time of the visit there were more than 40 types of cereal crops).

During this visit the participants had an opportunity to visit a hot pepper production and processing plant operating in the region, where climate-smart agricultural techniques are used to obtain high quality products. The production called “Hot Farm” is specialized in the cultivation of peppers and has the hottest varieties known in the world (there were more than 300 types of seeds from different countries in the seed database). The farm has its own specialized greenhouses, and in corporation with other farmers, they grow about 15-30 type of hot peppers which are processed into sauces. This year they combined hot peppers with jams and got a unique product to present to the market. They sell the products not only in the local market, but also export to Holland and China. Adhering to the principles of smart agriculture, “Hot Farm” can close the production chain from seed to processing.

The participants were also given an opportunity to visit the Culinary Art Museum Center where they discussed with the chief cooking specialist how they can process food better without waste. As a result of the discussions, a possibility of cooperation was also brought out in order to process the products obtained by the AGREEN project without waste and to test new options for using them in food. It should also be noted that from more than 30 countries of the world people come to this center to learn cooking technology and without waste cooking.

The project is funded by the Joint Operational Program for Cross-Border Cooperation under the European Neighborhood Instrument “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020”, under Priority 1.2 “Increasing cross border opportunities for trade and modernization of agriculture and related sectors” and lasts 30 months (from 01.06.2020 to 30.11.2022). The total budget of the project is 799 279.60 Euro (451  640 930.776 AMD, InforEuro, October).

3.PP2_D.C.3.1_AGREEN_e-news Releases-No.3_Field Trip in Bulgaria-EN

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