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The Warsaw Voice » Society » December 21, 2012
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All Plants Great and Small
December 21, 2012   
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The state-run Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG) in Puławy is one of Europe’s oldest research institutes dealing with agriculture and has a tradition stretching back a century and a half.

Over the years, the institute has pursued research covering a broad spectrum of agriculture-related sciences. At present the key areas of interest for the institute include sustainable agriculture, an area in which the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation supports central and local authorities and provides assistance in decision-making concerning agricultural practice. Researchers at the IUNG institute study a wide range of areas, including phytochemistry, agricultural microbiology, soil science, agricultural meteorology and the assessment of natural conditions for agricultural production, fertilizers, soil fertility and fertilizer control, land cultivation and crop rotation, grain and forage production, tobacco and hops growing. The institute also evaluates different farming systems and the impact of agriculture on the environment.

Researchers at the institute use state-of-the-art research methods and high-end laboratory equipment.

The institute has recently started work on an Agricultural Research and Innovation Center. Once the modern facility is completed, its comprehensive equipment and well-trained research staff will enhance the institute’s potential, ensure the best possible quality of research and help the institute become more competitive in Poland and the rest of Europe.

Researchers from the institute are actively involved in a number of Polish and foreign research projects designed to introduce more innovation to Polish agriculture and enhance food safety.

The future Agricultural Research Center
Areas of key interest to the institute include organic farming. Thanks to many years of experience in agricultural research and accomplishments in research on organic farming, the institute has been able to obtained funds for a project called The Development of the Organic Food Valley Cluster. The cluster, based in eastern Poland, aims to build a supraregional platform to foster joint projects in developing and promoting organic food.

The Organic Food Valley cluster also encourages research centers, businesses and organizations which promote organic farming to work with enterprises which produce, process and distribute organic food. The cluster’s priorities include improving competitiveness and innovation in businesses associated in the Organic Food Valley, increasing the amount of organic food produced in Poland and creating new jobs in the organic food sector.

The cluster has launched a geoportal—or website used to find and access geographic information—on organic farming and an IT and telecommunications service system to ensure better access to information and facts on the production, processing and marketing of organic products.

Organic Food Valley members regularly take part in all the most important trade events held to promote organic food in both Poland and abroad, including NaturaFood, Eko Gala, the Organic Marketing Forum, the Polagra Food organic food fair and the Biofach fair in Nuremberg. Involvement in business missions and trade events abroad has led to contracts for the exportation of food products such as the sękacz cake from the Podlasie region, cold meats, spelt and seeds of the Cucurbitaceae plant family. At regular intervals, the Organic Food Valley cluster also organizes educational and promotional meetings for potential consumers of organic food.

Apart from offering them a wide variety of promotional activities, the business cluster helps producers of organic food identify and solve problems they encounter. Companies from different branches of the organic food processing business are keen to use specialist lab analyses. The results of the analyses are then used to launch innovative technology and put new recipes to use. The main innovation trends in food produced by Organic Food Valley members are as follows:
- enhanced quality of organic raw products;
- better storage of flash-frozen and freeze-dried raw and ready products;
- natural preservatives, dyes and flavors;
- quickly biodegradable packaging.
Companies associated in the Organic Food Valley business cluster can provide their potential partners abroad with organically produced, delicious and highly
nutritious food.

Organic Food Valley Business Cluster

Project coordinator:
Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation
8 Czartoryskich St.; 24-100 Puławy
+48 81 886-34-21 ext. 360
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