Agro-Environmental Extension Service in Leningrad Oblast and Further in the Russian Part of the Baltic Sea Basin (AgEnvES – Baltic Russia)
Organisation: Northwest Research Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Electrification
Time: 3/1/2010 – 3/1/2014
North-West Research Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Electrification (SZNIIMESH) will establish Agro-Environmental Extension Service (hereafter the Service) and promote its activity in the Russian part of the Baltic Sea Basin (the target area).
Agro-Environmental Extension Service will supply agricultural producers with the current information and expertise on various aspects of agroecology that, in its turn, will support environmentally safe development of farming in the target area. Being a part of the research institute, the service will have good knowledge about the state-of-the-art and effective farming practices and machines, recommended by the institute and field-tested. Owing to the established feedback both the Service and the institute will be well aware of the most urgent farming problems and offer the best suited solutions. The Service will make wide use of information technologies. Agro-environmental portal (destination site) will be set-up to furnish dominant communication and information flows.
The commitment will be implemented in several steps. First, ecological state of big and private farms will be assessed. Based on the assessment results the Service will identify the issues to be addressed. The list of issues will be verified through the farmers’ opinion poll. The second step ( from 1 September, 2010) will be organizational arrangements of the Service, i.e. search for interested parties, the character and volume of their input and interaction form, and recruitment of personnel. At the same time a sort of advertising campaign will start among the agricultural producers of various forms of ownership. The third step (from 1 january, 2011) will be the start of work in Leningrad Oblast and from 1 January 2012 in other parts of the target area.
The commitment aims at awareness-building of agricultural producers on agro-environmental aspects and the ways to environmentally sound practices. This is achieved through (1) identification of farmers’ needs in agro-environmental information and expertise; (2) creation and updating of database on agro-environmental issues and making in available for a wide range of users; (3) formation of the Register of Advanced Farming Technologies including their environmental assessment; (4) development and introduction of a web-based regional information and expert system on rational nature management on the farms; (5) establishment of Agro-Environmental Extension Service in Leningrad Oblast and dissemination of its experience in other parts of the target area; (6) establishment of effective links between agricultural producers, the Service and the institute to address the emerging agro-environmental challenges.
The commitment is considered to be an efficient measure to mitigate the negative impact of farms on the Baltic Sea environment.