Seminar on Organic Farming Issues

On June 16, 2016, three organization’s employees, Elena Popova, Yuliya Zhukovskaya, Vitold Zenkovich, took part into the seminar on organic farming held in Krevo village, Smorgon district.

The seminar was held by Grodno Oblast Association of Farmers which had been implementing the initiative “Sustainable Farming Based on the Innovative Farming Approach “Vermi Eco-product”. Implementation of the Ecosystem Services of Soil Formation and Rotation of Nutrients” within the framework of the UNDP project  “Supporting the Transition to a Green Economy in the Republic of Belarus” financed by the European Union.

Farmers, Belarusian scientists, project managers, representatives of NGOs, foreign specialists in that field participated in the seminar. In the welcoming part of the seminar, UNDP representatives talked about the project itself and 16 initiatives implemented within its frameworks, including the initiative “Creating a Network of Innovation and Demonstration Grounds on Farming and Organic Agriculture to Promote Sustainable Land Use, Agricultural Labour among the Young, to Improve School Nutrition and to Get Income by Rural Schools” which had been implemented by the Green Cross Belarus NGO.

The theoretic part started with the organizers’ speeches. Elena Khvashchevskaya, a manager, talked about objectives and tasks of the initiative; Igor Khvashchevskiy, the head of the farm enterprise “Vermi Eco-product”, told the seminar’s participants about opportunities to expand the organic agricultural sector in the Republic of Belarus and shared his experiences on introduction and use of liquid humic fertilizers in farms. Mr. Khvashchevskiy highlighted that the growth in demand for products grown by using techniques of organic farming was a global trend.

Innovative tillage machinery, its advantages and maintenance methods on the territory of Belarus were presented by Thomas Hatzenbihler, the CEO of the “Thomas Hatzenbihler Agro-tehnik GmbH”, and Viktor Ganuska, the export manager.

After a short break, Vladimir Ushkevich, the CEO of Grodno Oblast Association of Farmers, spoke about his thoughts on possible prospects of the development of agriculture on Belarus. The topic was continued by Sergey Tarasenko, a Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, associate professor, assistant principal for Research of Grodno State Agricultural University, who talked about academic views on the development of organic agriculture in the Republic.

To finish the theoretic part of the seminar, Sergey Galashevskiy, the director of LLC “Organic Standart” (Ukraine), delivered his speech on monitoring methods of the quality of organic production and advantages of certification.

During lunchtime, the participants had an opportunity not only to discuss the information and exchange contacts, but also to taste organic products.

The practical part of the seminar included demonstration of modern tractors. As a result, the participants were able to independently evaluate effectiveness of presented techniques in case of using them in organic farming.

When considering the information acquired at the seminar, with regard to the initiative of the Green Cross Belarus NGO, it should be noted that some technologies have already been implemented and are applied on innovative grounds, e.g. humic fertilizers. Information about the quality control and certification was very useful as a starting point for further elaboration and presentation on the initiative’s seminars. Unfortunately, the participants weren’t so interested in the machinery as it is designed to handle large agricultural territories, and the initiative of the GCB NGO is being implemented on small school grounds.

Despite the information content, the seminar was valuable as it gave an opportunity to learn about how the other initiatives of the project worked, and to share contacts, which is likely to have effect in future.

Article on the seminar on the Project’s website

Photo is taken from

This publication has been produced with the support of the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme within the framework of the EU/UNDP Project “Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus”. The publication can in no way be taken to reflect the views of these organizations.