By: Zakharchenko Elina, Datsko Oksana

This project resulted from the training YPARD did with Ukrainian attendees in collaboration and partnership with  AgriSciences Platform "AgriSci-UA"

Organic food production is becoming increasingly popular around the globe, and we see the rising interest in Ukraine, however not in all regions. Currently, we conduct our research at Sumy National Agrarian University (Ukraine), which is in the northeast part of Ukraine. Our university is now the only one among other agrarian universities with land certified organic. Our region has some farmers who grow organic crops, but not enough for local consumers. Why do we have a problem with it? Growing organic crops is not only hard work but also the certification process is arduous and time consuming.

In November 2020, we received a mini grant in the framework of the Czech Republic Development cooperation project: "Interuniversity cooperation as a tool for enhancement of quality of selected universities in Ukraine 2019-2021", under which we had a project titled: "Soil tillage and probiotics for sustainable agriculture (STILL for US)". The objective of this project is to evaluate the feasibility of applying soil probiotics and conventional and non-conventional tillage for improving soil fertility and cultivation of different maize varieties for silage. Silage maize is used for ruminant livestock on many farms. Grain maize can be used both for processing for human consumption (such as polenta) and for animal feeding. The university is making efforts to grow organic products and with the goal of having a closed cycle: grain, silage, and straw are used for livestock feeding and as a result, we get organic milk and meat, which our students, teachers and guests can use at our canteen. Healthy food is crucial in order to have a healthy nation!

Our society should understand the importance of organic products in human diets and therefore we would like to tell scientists and all who have an interest in the features of organic technologies about the benefits. Nowadays on the global market, we can see a lot of fertilizers and growth stimulators which contain different nutrients, ratios, vitamins, ferments, humic acids, and microorganisms. Today there are 170 biofertilizers approved for use in the production of organic crops. Therefore, our colleagues from companies and manufacturers need the results of studies of fertilizers and preparations in different soil and climatic conditions and with different hybrids. This is why we use hybrids with different FAOs (different kinds of fertilization and divers probiotics). Using special microorganisms, researchers conduct field and laboratory experiments to choose the best or more effective. Moreover, creating special microbiome could help seeds and whole plants to be more resistant to fungus disease, water and heat stress. Our aim is to investigate some probiotics for a deeper understanding of their influence on soil and plants, as the use of soil probiotics is a modern step towards regulating soil fertility and crop yield. Healthy soils will produce healthy yields. 

Read the original blog here.

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