As part of the Carbon Action collaboration the Ruralia Institute has started a training project on soil management and carbon farming, aimed at agricultural advisors and mentors.
Extreme weather conditions and mitigating climate change pose new challenges for agriculture. Soils’ capacity to adapt to extreme conditions has declined due to e.g. soil compaction and monocultures. In the future, farming will require even more land management, repairing and taking care of the soil.
In the SOILADVICE project (”Sustainable soil management and carbon farming through extensive use of research findings and advisor practices”) advisors are trained to educate farmers on tending the soil in ways that will make it healthier and improve its capacity to sequester carbon. SOILADVICE also brings research data to the use of advisors and farmers, including findings from the Carbon Action platform and Carbon Action pilot farms. The approach is holistic, practical and based on research.
The training consists of online workshops and field days, designing a soil management plan for a farm, self-studies applying given materials, and online discussions. Know-how is acquired by doing. Participants are trained to observe soil degradation in different farms, and to design measures that promote healthy soil and carbon sequestration, and monitor their effectiveness.
The project trains 30 agricultural advisors and mentors. The trainees work as advisors in ProAgria centers, and as private advisors or mentors around Finland. The training lasts until the end of 2021. The project is funded by Support association for soil and water technologies (Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki ry).