Support for education and scientific-research activities in the field of organic agriculture

Target country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Project coordinators: Jan Banout, Iva Kučerová
Project team: Jan Banout, Iva Kučerová, Miroslava Bavorová, Olga Leuner, Adéla Fraňková
Partnes of project: Agro mediteránní fakulta, Univerzita Džemala Bijediče v Mostaru a Fakulta zemědělství a potravinových technologií, Univerzita v Mostaru
Budget: 35 307 EUR
Donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
Duration of the Project: 2022


Aims of the project:

The aim of the project is to improve the level of scientific research skills and the quality of teaching at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Technology at the University of Mostar and the Agro-Mediterranean Faculty of the University of Džemal Bijedič in Mostar in the field of organic agriculture through implemented activities and realized outputs, which will focus primarily on the implementation of specialized educational courses. The aim of the project is to increase the research and scientific-pedagogical skills of academic staff and students at both involved faculties. And further to prepare a joint scientific publication, where there will be a collective of authors from CZU in Prague with one of the cooperating faculties from Mostar.

The conference "Organic Farming in the Western Balkans"

With the aim to initiate and promote public and academic debate on organic agriculture, we would like to invite you to attend the conference "Organic Farming in the Western Balkans" that will be held on November 11th, 2022, from 9:45 a.m. at the University of Mostar, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Technology (Biskupa Čule bb, Mostar 88000, Bosnia and Hercegovina) organized in partnership with the University of Mostar, the University of Džemal Bijedić and the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, " Organic Farming in the Western Balkans " would like to bring together various actors and stakeholders in organic farming, research, production, and marketing of organic produce and making the topic of organic farming accessible to a wide audience.


Renowned scientists and leaders in their respective disciplines will present their contributions to the topics of organic farming in the Western Balkans. The invited speakers are (ordered alphabetically) following:


1. Jan Banout, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic 

   Organic farming and its benefits in organic matter management 
Prof. Jan Banout received his PhD. in tropical agriculture at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague in 2005. Actually, he is a professor and senior researcher in Food Security, Food and Organic Waste Processing Technology. He is the head of the Department of Sustainable Technology, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. He has a significant level of experience in both teaching and research, including field investigation and surveys conducted in different developing countries. He has strong experience as a senior consultant in the above-mentioned disciplines. He was a manager or member of research teams of several projects conducted in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, focusing on sustainable development of agriculture technology, food processing, food security, and organic waste management. He was an invited speaker and lecturer at several universities in Europe, Asia and Africa. The publications are available on ORCID: 0000-0002-9647-1426. 


2. Daria Bilandžija, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

   Can organic agriculture be part of solution to challenges faced in agriculture due to climate change? 
Darija Bilandžija received her PhD in Biotechnology science, field: Agriculture; Ecology and environment protection at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture (UZFA). She is working as associate professor at UZFA, teaching at BSc and MSc studies modules Organic agriculture, Agroclimatology, Basic of crop production, and Modelling of energy crop production. Her research interests are related to agriculture and climate change (impact and mitigation), organic agriculture and agroclimatology. She participated in projects related to sustainable management in agriculture and protection of soil/water/air resources. She is the member of European Network of Organic Agricultural Teachers (ENOAT), Steering Committee of Croatian Agrometeorological Society (HAgMD) and Croatian Society Of Soil Science (HTD). The publications are available HERE.


3. Ana Cornelia Butcaru, University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, Romania 

   Compost - a sustainable solution for the replacement of chemical fertilizers in a circular economy (horticulture)
Dr. Ana Cornelia Butcaru is a researcher at the Fruit Growing Laboratory from Research Center for Studies of Food Quality and Agricultural Products. She is also Responsible for the development of Research-Development-Innovation Partnerships at the Center for Technology Transfer - AGROBIOLIFE, University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, Romania. She received her Ph.D. in horticulture with research on organic technology for edible climbing roses. She has expertise in organic agriculture, circular agriculture, fruit technology, and valorization of fruits through high-value processed products, ITC in horticulture, LCA and LCCA assessment. The publications are available HERE.

4. Davut Karayel, Akdeniz University, Faculty of Agriculture, Turkey 

   No-Till Farming Systems for Sustainable and Ecological Agriculture
Prof. Dr. Davut KARAYEL, graduated from the Cukurova University in Adana city of Turkey with a degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1995 and obtained his master’s and doctoral degree at Akdeniz University in Antalya city of Turkey. He defended his doctoral dissertation in the field of Agricultural Engineering in 2005. In 2008, he obtained the title of associate professor, and in 2014, the title of professor at Akdeniz University (Antalya/Turkey). He is currently a professor at Akdeniz University (Turkey) and a chief researcher at Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania) (performed remotely). Davut KARAYEL is associate editor of Journal of Computers and Electronics in Agriculture and member of editorial board of Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. He has published more than 100 scientific papers on agricultural engineering (of which, 27 articles are included in the ‘CA Web of Sciencet’ database and have a certain level citation impact). He is author of two chapters in 2 international books.Research interests: technological processes of sowing and crop care machines, technological and environmental assessment of the impact of agricultural technological operations on soil and environment.The publications are available HERE and HERE.

5. Bohdan Lojka, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic 

  Agroforestry - the old solution for new problems.
Prof. Bohdan Lojka, Ph.D. is affiliated to the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences (FTA) at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU), where he obtained in 2020 a full professorship in the field of Tropical agriculture and Ecology. He is a chair at the Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry. In the field of scientific research, he pursue research in agroforestry systems both in the tropics and in recent years in Europe and Czechia in particular. His main research topics are mainly the assessment of biodiversity (both intraspecific and interspecific) in agroforestry systems and domestication of agroforestry trees. At the faculty, he founded a research team focused on biodiversity research in the tropics. He participated as the main investigator or team member in number of research and development projects Czechia, Europe but also third world countries (Peru, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Cambodia). He teaches several courses focussed on agroforestry, tropical crops and pastures. He is currently the guarantor of one master's degree program in Tropical Forestry and Agroforestry and one doctoral degree program Agriculture in Tropics and Subtropics. During his pedagogical work, he successfully supervised 23 bachelor's and 60 diploma theses, and under his guidance, five doctoral students successfully defended their dissertation work. He is a chairman of the Czech Association for Agroforestry (CSAL), a member of the Executive Board of the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF), a member of the American Association for Advancements in Science (AAAS), of the Council for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (ATSAF) and of the Czech Pedological Society (ČPS).

6. Aleksandra Martinovska Stojcheska, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, North Macedonia

    Organic farming drivers and barriers in the Western Balkans: The example of North Macedonia. 
Aleksandra Martinovska Stojcheska is full Professor and currently Head of the Institute of Agricultural Economics at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. Her research interests are in the area of economic and technical performance in agriculture, efficiency and productivity analysis, cost of production, cost-benefit analysis, and also farmer behavior in decision-making and strategic choices, economic aspects of climate change, as well as agricultural and rural development policy. Involved in various national and international research and applicative activities. She is member of the National Council for Higher Education and Research; National IPARD Monitoring Committee; National Liaison to the European Association of Agricultural Economics; key expert in the National Convention for the EU – MK; and coordinator of the EDP Smart Specialisation S3 domain on Smart agriculture and food with higher added value.

7. Miodrag Matavulj, Centar za ekonomski i ruralni razvoj, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

  Organic sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika Srpska) and biodynamic agriculture
Miodrag Matavulj is senior expert, currently holding position of Executive Director of Centre for Economic and Rural Development (CERD) with more than 25 years of experience in project implementation and research activities in agriculture and rural development in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Western Balkan region. Mr. Matavulj has intensive long-term experience and knowledge about organic production and organic movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina and region including legal frame, certification and familiarity with organic producer groups as well as experience, knowledge and skills on biodynamic agriculture principles. He has experience in creating and strengthening of local groups, networks and partnerships (public private partnership) using participatory approach and stakeholders involvement. Mr. Matavulj has very good knowledge of the EU LEADER approach and principles of LAG (Local Action Group) establishment and operations. He was Editor in Chief in the Magazine Agro PLANETA, the only domestic magazine in Bosnia and Herzegovina dedicated exclusively to agriculture and sustainable and rural development themes.

8. Pascale Paulus, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

   Soil fertility, water, seeds, and energy are the basic requirement of a resilient and productive farming system
Pascale is an agroecologist with an engineering background. She graduated from several Belgian universities. She then studied microbiology and composting at the Soil Food Web school. She was involved in several projects aiming at implementing ecological agriculture in urban and rural environments and contributed to the construction and launch of a permaculture course at the University of Liege (Belgium), in partnership with several European universities through an Erasmus+ project.
Her contribution: Soil fertility, water, seeds, and energy are the basic requirement of a resilient and productive farming system. Managing these four factors in a smart and efficient way contributes reduce farm dependency to external inputs and thus cost fluctuations. In this specific case, we will only focus on soil fertility. Having the means of managing soil fertility based on waste flows, readily available resources, or locally-sourced inputs, is crucial to ensure a continued food producing in case of a major crisis. Microbiological diversity and abundance in cultivated soils are one key to build up organic matter and improve the soil structure. In this session, we will explore how composting and be a vector of life build-up in the soil, as to start restoring the soil fertility while improving its structure.


A poster session with the programme of Science Day (presentations of universities focusing on scientific results in the field of organic farming and bio-products) will complete this scientific programme. 

This event will be held in English. 


The conference is organized within the development project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic „ Support for education and scientific research in the field of organic farming“ NO 2022-PKVV-06.

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