589 farmers grow 5 418 ha in the Mežiška Valley of Slovenia. However, many of them are concerned by a very serious problem: soil pollution. Indeed, the valley has been run during a long time for mining and metallurgic activities. As a consequence, an accumulation of heavy metals in the soil and plants affects several areas, including 1650 ha of landing use and 181 farms.
Farmers affected by this issue decided not to deal with it on their own. They joined forces with the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia, the Institute for Environmental Research and the Institute of Public Health to elaborate researches aiming at:
– precisely identify the contaminated sites and analyse the situation
– find innovative solutions
– give technical instructions for farmers
Farming guidelines have been elaborated, providing farmers with measures on how to reduce the consumption of heavy metal in plants and food chain, or providing a definition of contamination of cattle feed. Further to theoretical information, farmers were well involved and well accompanied through interactive workshops, practical testing of the guidelines, monitoring and review of results. Thus, everything was done to best implement the project in the valley, but also to share this good practice through local newspapers and radio interviews.
This is a summary of a Good practice published by the EIP AGRI. For further information:30 July 2014