Main authors: Jane Brandt, Giovanni Quaranta, Rosanna Salvia, Gottlieb Basch, Fernando Teixeira, Marie Wesselink, Julie Lemesle, Antonio Ferreira, Adelcia Viego, Jorge Mataix Solera, Fuensanta Garcia, Costas Kosmas, Orestis Kairis, Chrysa Aratzioglou, Matjaž Glavan, Zoltán Tóth, Olga Vizitiu, Irina Calciu, Jerzy Lipiec, Magdalena Frąc, Boguslaw Usowicz, Endla Reitam, Minggang Xu, Haimei Fu, Hongzhu Fan.
iSQAPERiS Editor: Jane Brandt
Source document: Brandt, J. et al. (2020) Demonstration of recommended agricultural management practices and SQAPP in the iSQAPER study sites. iSQAPER Project Deliverable 6.4 (additional) 71 pp


The demonstration events were held in from June to October 2019 in all iSQAPER study sites (except Zhifanggou Watershed). They provided an opportunity for the iSQAPER research teams to meet a range of local stakeholders and to: present iSQAPER’s major research findings; demonstrate recommended agricultural management practices and the revised version of SQAPP; and to obtain valuable feedback from the stakeholders. The following specific remarks were made by the demonstration event organisers.

Study site 1 De Peel, NL According to the organising parties the event was very successful. There were more visitors than was hoped for, and they were all very positive about it. It was also a nice opportunity for (organic) farmers to share thoughts and ideas, during the field visits, and afterwards when there were some drinks and snacks provided.

Study site 3 Cértima, PT Overall, the main objectives of the demonstration event in disseminated the results of application and incorporation of sewage sludge in maize farm as the best management practices in the Portuguese study sites were successfully fulfil. The farmers also had the opportunity to share their experience with a multidisciplinary audience which lead to important discussions about the agriculture management practices in Portuguese farms. The discussions about the potential of sludge incorporation and the challenges in agriculture Portuguese topsoil during the demonstration event were important to link the scientific results with different stakeholder perspective about the best agriculture management practices.

Study site 4 SE Spain, ES The event was really successful. The participants were very interested in the project results and in the SQAPP. It is necessary translate all the text of the application to Spanish.

Study site 5 Crete, GR The demonstration events fulfil their objectives in receiving valuable remarks and promoting SQAPP to the stakeholders: (a) in the organized event in Crete, and (b) in the presentation during the meeting for the program of Agricultural Development (PAD) of the Greek Ministry of Agricultural Development and Foods in which land use planers and policy makers were included. However, farmers express their unwillingness to participate in the organized event (except one), even though contacts with farmers unions was made before the event. Stakeholders have understood fare well how SQAPP works, its potential for land users and planners in conserving or improving soil quality. Almost all participants confirm that they will use SAQPP in the future to make decisions on land management practices as well as that they will promote SQAPP to other people.

All participants pointed out the importance of the existing soil data provided by SQAPP. However, the incorporation of new data by the users must be under control to avoid the entry of false data provided by the users of the tool. In addition, it has been outlined that the measuring units of the various soil properties must be in the same widely used systems.

The proposed AMPs by SQAPP, further of those that were analyzed (no tillage or minimum tillage, extensive grazing) have been considered: (a) as very important in conserving soil quality, (b) as well known by various stakeholders and most of them already applied. A new AMP is difficult to be promoted by farmers due to imposed constrains by the organization of the farm (type of crops-perennial crops or annual crops, physical environment characteristics, socio-economic characteristics, etc). In addition, the applied AMPs are related to traditional knowledge transferring from generation to generation, hard to change in a new AMP. Young land users usually wish to apply new technologies on improving soil quality and protection of the environment, but in several cases there are many problems in implementing a technology such as the appropriate knowledge, the available economical resources, the farmer’s income, the trends in the market and the availability of the appropriate infrastructure, etc.

In conclusion, SQAPP received excellent comments for the organization on the data base, the assessment of the possible threats and recommendations for conserving or improving soil quality. There was a general willingness by the participants for future application and promotion of SQAPP to other land users or planners.

Study site 6 Ljubljana, SI Event fullfed it objective and presented and demonstrated soil improvement agricultural management practices. During introduction lectures and demonstrations, main soil threats were discussed along with a practical presentation of visual soil assessment techniques and SQApp.

Study site 7 Zala HU The event partly fulfilled its objectives. The personal discussion was successful, both parties, farmers and scientists enriched with new information.

What lessons have been learnt about further promotion of the AMP and SQAPP? - Small scale farmers have limited resources for investing in expensive new technology/machinery, so they pay less attention to promotions focusing on this.

Study site 8 Braila County, RO The event fulfil its objective to disseminate and inform other stakeholders about a new tool which can be used in practice, by farmers especially, to make decisions based on the information provided by the SQAPP application. In addition, the SQAPP can be used by professors to teach the students about soil quality and degradation processes directly in the field, as practical field applications.

For the adoption of the new innovative agricultural management practices, the SQAPP application was suggested by participants at the event that it can be a useful tool for predicting and assessing the impact of existing management practices on the soil quality characteristics and environment.

Study site 9 Trzebieszów, PL The event fulfilled its objectives by dissemination both SQAPP application as well as AMP use in the study sites. This event was especially important for students of Agriculture, who has own farms or their parents have farms and therefore they can use such solutions in the future.

We think that it was successful event, especially many students were interested in agriculture management practices application, especially how to use spent mushroom substrate. It was very good that people could visit mushroom production and see how spent mushroom substrate is produced, how mushrooms grow and they could ask questions about this kind of exogenous organic matter. They could also make some measurements of soils on the field amended with spent mushroom substrate. It would be better if more farmers and local authority participated in this event.

People need to be informed during training, conferences about AMP and SQAPP. It is important to have positive examples of farmers who use AMP in practice and they can say something about their positive impact on soil, crops, yield.

Study site 10 Tartumaa, EE Quite a lot of people registered to the event, which shows that this topic is something that people want to learn about. Fewer people participated in the event than registered, which was probably due to bad weather. Overall the event fulfilled its objectives.

Study sites 11/14 Qiyang/Gongzhuling, CN Through the indoor training and on-site observation, the conference popularized and promoted the related technologies of AMPs and the use of SQAPP, and achieved the expected goals. From this event, we can conclude that in the next promotion of AMP and SQAPP, we should pay more attention to flexibility, avoid excessive oral teaching, increase people's sense of participation, and better meet the actual needs of participants. It is more conducive to its promotion and publicity.

Study site 12 Suining, CN This questionnaire event fulfils its objectives. With technical training and guidance, fertilizer products, and government subsidies, these can further promotion of AMP in this area. It is better for widely adopted SQAPP in China to develop full Chinese version and compatible with Android mobile phone.


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