Ljubljana/Berlin – Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek took part in a conference in Berlin as part of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2022, and announced on Friday the implementation of a new business model – carbon farming, which will include additional financial incentives for farmers and foresters.
Podgoršek said that soil as a non-renewable natural resource has often been perceived in the past as something permanent, immutable and taken for granted, which needs to change.
“The soil is key for achieving the commitments of the new EU green deal, because it plays an important role in the transition to sustainable food systems, while also being crucial for biodiversity,” he added.
Slovenia welcomes the European Commission’s initiative for a new EU Soil Strategy, said Podgoršek, while pointing out that the country is already investing a lot of effort in obtaining comparable data on the state and quality of agricultural soils.
Among the measures towards this goal are monitoring soil trends at the national level and drawing up proposals and solutions to improve sustainable soil management, including a plan to implement a digitalised soil fertility monitoring system.
“We will also seek to implement the business model of carbon farming, based on the actual volume of carbon removals and the possibility to valorise these removals on the markets. Farmers and foresters will thus be further rewarded for storing carbon in the soil,” Podgoršek added.
The minister spoke at a ministerial conference that takes place every January in the German capital as part of the International Green Week. This year’s topic was sustainable land use, with a focus on food security.
The key to this goal will be to support technologies to increase organic matter in the soil, improve fertility, optimise fertilisation and soil tillage techniques to retain water in the soil during dry periods and prevent erosion, the Agriculture, Forestry and Food Ministry added in a press release.