FAO Farmer field school: crop rotation and biodiversity

Posted on: 16 May 2019

The problem of land degradation is crucial for Ukraine, as it affects 20 percent of the country’s arable land, or 6.5 million ha in total. The most dangerous form of land degradation in Ukraine is soil erosion by wind and water, which is most widespread in the eastern regions of the Ukrainian steppe.

Land degradation neutrality can be achieved only by observing the practices of sustainable agriculture, in particular through crop rotation, conservation, and enhancement of biodiversity. Therefore, optimization of the structure of crop rotation in the conditions of the Steppe, the problem of resistance to sunflower broomrape – these are the topics being discussed during the second training of the FAO Farmer Field School, conducted with the support of the State Scientific Organization “Leonid Pogorilyy Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Forecasting and Testing of Machinery and Technologies for Agricultural Production” (L. Pogorilyy UkrNDIPVT). More than 70 farmers, scientists, students of agricultural universities and colleges attended this event.

The practical part of the training was held on the fields of “Yugrun” ltd. On the fields, participants examined the crops of winter wheat, chick pea, and lentil, oil flax, sunflower, compared stocks moisture under different cultivation technologies in soil layer height of 1 meter and measured the soil density.

The video from the event you can find by the following link: https://youtu.be/UYTfGpc1kHI?t=784

In general, FAO will conduct ten training to help farmers stop land degradation in Ukraine. The training courses devoted to spring sowing campaign, biodiversity, irrigation, soil cultivation methods, rehabilitation of shelterbelts, and economic aspects of the conservation agriculture technologies.

The training courses are being held under the framework of the FAO project Integrated Natural Resources Management in Degraded Landscapes in the Forest-Steppe and Steppe Zones of Ukraine, funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Activities under this four-year FAO project relate to broader global efforts as they contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 for “life on land.”

Besides, within the framework of the project, the Ukrainian Soil Partnership will be established on May 24th. USP will play a major role in advocating for and coordinating initiatives to combat land and soil degradation, facilitate dialogue and cooperation among interested stakeholders at the country level.