Agriculture is the single most important contributor to the euthrophication of the Baltic Sea. It’s responsible for 59% of the anthropogenic nitrogen and 56% of the phosphorous emissions (HELCOM 2005). The specialized agriculture with its separation of crop and animal production results in a high load of nitrogen and phosphorus to the Baltic Sea. This agricultural specialization has resulted in farms with a high density of animals and great surpluses of plant nutrients concentrated to certain regions.
This trend of increasing products per animal and per hectare on fewer farms and a higher surplus of nutrients of each of them is continuing in Nordic countries and is likely to spread to new to new EU member countries within the Baltic drainage area with the probable consequence of increasing nutrient loads.
One of the solutions of this serious threaten of the Baltic Sea is Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA). ERA is defined as an agriculture system based on local and renewable resources, that integrate animal and crop production on each farm, or farms in close proximity. As a result a large part of nutrient uptake in the fodder is effectively recycled. This in effect means that each farm strives to be self-sufficient in fodder production , which in turn a limits animal density and ensures a more even distribution of animals geographically.
The key elements in BERAS Implementation project are the BERAS Information Centers which are introduced ERA ideas into the practice and create link between farmers and society. They are also the base of sustainable food system. This system has capacity to increase consumption of organic products, strengthen local economies and raise awareness of agriculture and environmental impacts of food.
Polish Ecological Club is Partner of the project.
Coalition Clean Baltic is Associated Partner