The conference was organised by Pro Bio and the Czech FiBL partner institute Bioinstitut with the support of government bodies and numerous organisations of the private sector. This year the event was attended by 200 people from 21 countries interested in the theme. This prestigious forum, which has gradually become one of the most significant conferences on organic farming within Central and Eastern Europe, responded to contemporary topics. Bioacademy comprised of a conference for practitioners and, for the second time, a scientific conference, the latter being coordinated by Bioinstitut. The two-day session was followed by a traditional series of excursions for participants to organic farms within South Moravia, Austria and Slovakia.
Once again Bioacademy provided an opportunity for experts, politicians, farmers and traders not only to exchange information and experience but also to collectively seek answers to contemporary challenges and needs within organic food production and in its environmental context and benefits.
The Scientific Conference built on the success of its inaugural year with the topics:
- Diversity in organic farming and examples of successful strategies
- Soil quality and fertility in organic farming
- Sustainability and diversity in horticulture and the organic sector
Urs Niggli, Director of FiBL, emphasised the role of farmers and their involvement in research necessary for further innovation. This will be necessary in the future in order to face new challenges. This will require a systematic approach and comprehensive solutions, with farmers as the key partners. “Research cannot only be carried out for farmers but must involve farmers,” he added.
Bioacademy 2009 was concluded by Jiří Urban, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic who stressed out that organic farming is a complex functioning model ready to meet all new challenges within the EU such as climatic change, decreasing biodiversity, soil and water protection, welfare of farm animals etc.
The Minister’s Award for promoters of the organic sector
For the first time in Bioacademy history, awards from the Czech Minister of Agriculture, Jakub Šebesta, were bestowed at the closing ceremony in Lednice Chateau:
- Prof. Ing. Jiří Petr, Dr Sc., Dr.h.c. was given an award for many years of work and effort in the establishment and development of organic farming in the Czech Republic, especially for his professional input in the field of research, education and international cooperation.
- Ing. Richard Jan Barták, CSc. was given an award for many years of work and effort in the establishment and development of organic farming in the Czech Republic, especially for his professional input in the field of support programmes and international cooperation.
- Karel Merhaut was given an award for many years of work and effort in the establishment and development of organic farming in the Czech Republic, especially for his expert promotion of Czech organic farms and organic foodstuffs.
The awards were presented by Deputy Minister Jiří Urban on behalf od the Czech Minister of Agriculture.
- The speeches will be made available at the Bioacademy homeapge www.pro-bio.cz/bioakin the form of PPT presentations
- Jirina Pavelková
Tel. 00420 739 280 159
- Karolína Dytrtová
Bioinstitut,o.p.s., Institute for Ecological Agriculture and Sustainable Landscape Development
Tel. +420 585 631 178
Organisers and sponsors
The ongoing patronage of IFOAM EU Group and the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment are of great importance to Bioacademy. This year Bioacademy also benefited from the patronage of the Czech Ministry of Education.
Following the established tradition, the organization of Bioacademy was shared by the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, the Czech Ministry of the Environment and the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, the Environment and Water Management, PRO-BIO Association of Organic Farmers in cooperation with BioAustria, FiBL, Bioinstitut and the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture.