Zemnieku Saeima

Zemnieku Saeima


Crop ZSA production and animal farming


Soil health is crucial to the sustainability of agriculture. Healthy soil is essential for growing nutritious food, preventing erosion, improving soil carbon sequestration and structure, and enhancing soil biodiversity. The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2023-2027 defines an additional policy instrument – the eco-schemes. This is a new instrument in the form of annual direct payments to reward farmers who voluntarily adopt biodiversity and climate-friendly farming practices with higher environmental benefits, taking into account the objectives of the Green Deal, in particular those stemming from the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The implementation of eco schemes ensures the use of sustainable agricultural production methods in the management of agricultural land.
The aim of the Novasoil case study is to ensure that ZSA DIH implements a new digital solution – map services that show the fields where farmers in Latvia have implemented eco-schemes with soil-friendly agricultural practices. By displaying this information on a digital map, anyone can easily find and learn about farmers in their region who are actively working to improve soil health.
Deployment of the service in a production environment, e.g. ZSA’s DIH system, implementation of specific additional functionality and user training will provide an opportunity to test the service during regular business operations of various end users. Easy access, simple interface, valid and up-to-date data will ensure the sustainability of the service.
The digital map services already contain very important information about Latvian soils, their typology and mechanical composition, which will help every farmer to choose the most appropriate agrotechnical methods to maintain and improve soil fertility and thus soil health.
Through the Novasoil case study, we aim to raise awareness of the importance of soil health in Latvia.

Potential inhibitors

Economic downturn – as incomes fall, farmers may choose not to participate in eco schemes in order to obtain short-term economic benefits.
Bureaucracy – If the requirements are too strict and the application process too detailed, farmers may decide not to apply for certain eco schemes.
Lack of know-how – as many eco schemes (e.g. precision farming) require additional knowledge, farmers who lack this may decide not to adopt eco schemes..

Potential enablers

Social awareness – As people increase their interest in sustainable management of land resources, it could be a positive push towards implementing certain eco-schemes that contribute to soil health.
Long term economic gain – As many farmers understandably prioritize the economic sustainability of their farms, it could be the case that farmers are interested in protecting their long-term profitability by contributing to soil health therefore maximizing their yields in future.

Potential stakeholders

Individual farmers, Farmers’ NGOs, Policy makers, Environmental NGOs, Agricultural input suppliers, Agricultural machinery and technology providers, Individuals from society, Local authorities.

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