|dc.description.abstract||The annual international agricultural forum Agroforum Mare Balticum will be held, already for the fourth time now, in Tartu, Estonia. The conference is an important meeting point for the agricultural sector’s politicians and entrepreneurs, and research institutions from the Baltic sea countries and the Eastern Partnership countries, as well as global organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the European Commission and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. This multilevel meeting enables us to use and transfer the best available knowledge at all levels and from all geographical spheres, to discuss and find solutions to the significant challenges faced by the agricultural sector today.
The main focus of this year’s forum is environmentally smart agriculture. While globally climate smart actions are being discussed, we felt that there is a need to take this concept even further and discuss the future of agriculture, taken into account the state of our environment as a whole, not just the sector’s resilience to changing climatic conditions. Society’s health depends on the quality of the food, and the highest quality food can be produced only by working in concordance with natural processes, ensuring healthy soils, sustainable water management, reasonable use of pesticides and use of other agricultural chemicals, and so on. The best quality production can be achieved using innovative solutions but also by looking far into the future when making production decisions.
This year’s presentations will focus on a variety of topics, ranging from the importance of innovations in agriculture and the possibilities for sustainable intensification, all the way to resilience to disease epidemics in animal husbandry and biodiversity dynamics in agriculture. For the first time we will also publish the conference proceedings, to help further spread the ideas discussed at the forum.
I hope the conference will encourage you to think further about the important role agriculture plays in our world, not just as a means of producing healthy food, but also as a biodiversity caretaker and driving force in the development of rural areas.
Mait Klaassen Rector Eesti Maaülikool / Estonian University of Life Sciences||eng