Klimatske promene, globalno zagrevanje i smanjenje ozonskog omotača sve više počinju da se odražavaju na poljoprivrednoj slici sveta. Srbija nije izuzetak. Međutim, iako promenljive vremenske prilike čine poljoprivredu sve neizvesnijom, čini se da su se mladi poljoprivrednici u Srbiji ozbiljno uhvatili u koštac sa tim. Na koji način sada razmišljaju mladi poljoprivrednici kad je u pitanju njihova produkcija, pročitajte u redovima ispod, teksta objavljenog na YPARD sajtu za mlade farmere i studente u poljoprivredi.
The last couple of years was pretty rough for Serbian agriculture. We had very rainy or very dry years, with floods, late or early frost, rain ice or long drought. That all had a negative effect on first spring products. But, particularly last May made Serbian young farmers forced to cope with very rainy and moisty weather that didn’t go in hand with beekeeping, vegetable or fruit production or even flower production. In this blog post, I will share with you how climate change affected young farmers in Serbia and their way of thinking, based on published stories on Mladi u agraru, a web site run by YPARD Serbia.
A very small number of sunny days in May reduced honey production. Bees couldn’t get outside the hive because it was raining all the time and 5-7 sunny days weren’t enough for them to collect nectar from white acacia since acacia honey harvest is the most important harvest in the year for beekeepers in Serbia.
But, the fact that there will be not much honey this year is not the main one. Igor Stankovic, a young beekeeper, was one of many beekeepers that notice multiplication of the bees. „For those who wanted to expand their apiary, this turned out to be a good situation, but for me, it means lower usability of the next honey harvests potential“, said Igor. The only thing Igor could do is to make his bees stay healthy and prepare them for the winter with enough food supplies.
Organic fruit production
Although organic production can be one of the solutions for fighting climate change, growing organic strawberry on a rainy and moisty May can be very difficult. Group of students in agricultural sciences bought last year small farm, called Organela, where they are growing organic fruit, vegetable, and eggs.
Last month was very challenging for them because they had to deal with rotting. „Likely, rotting didn’t spread a lot and we didn’t use any fruit protection treatment, not even the one allowed in organic farming“, said Pavle Đorđević, one of Organela owner. But, they found the use for the soft one, by turning them into marmalade and the ones which were ‘good looking’ strawberry, sold in a big market.
Lack of sun negatively affected flower growing. Young farmer Stefan Ribac, struggled with a low percentage of flower sale, last month. „Cold and rainy weather turn away buyers because they were afraid their flower will go down the drain“, said Stefan. To keep his flower quality, he used liquid fertilizer for plants that turned up to be a smart move. Stefan was dedicated to the quality of his plants and plans to expand his production.
This May wasn’t just about moist, but also about ice rain that destroyed many fruit plantation. Since Serbia had troubles with early spring ice rain in previous years, Jovan Pavlovic, young fruit producer, decided to prevent his apple trees to be damaged. He put on his line of apple trees ice rain protection net. „I used the one that falls down, for sun protection, because it’s cheaper than the original one and it does a great ice rain protection“, said Jovan. Dealing with this kind of weather, that is just a product of climate change, makes young farmers think quickly how to keep their fruit growth without any losses.
Producing vegetable is very hard work, but ‘it pays off’, says young vegetable producer Milivoje Ljubenovic. Rainy May didn’t mean plant loss for him, but it did mean later plantation. Also, climate change made him think differently about future production. „I have some plants on the open field, like paprika and tomato, but the rest is in the plastic cold frame. Since, the production ‘under the sky’ became so uncertain and we don’t know if a lot of rain will make flood and destroy our production, I tend to increase cold frame production. I want to invest in this production with every penny“, says Milivoje.
We are all familiar with forest benefits: especially when it comes to oxygen production, flood attenuation and potential for global warming reduction, but deforestation keeps spreading.
Using trees as a fuel in many countries is still dominate, in Serbia as well – especially in the villages. Young enthusiast Stefan Drljaca decided, three years ago, to plant a forest, and every year ahead he planted more diverse species of trees. His mission is to grow nice and healthy forest and to have something useful that he will leave behind. „I never meant to grow trees for economic use, I will never cut trees and I will ask those who will come after me to do the same“, said Stefan.
Whether is just one rainy month in the year, a couple of months, couple of years or a decade, we all have to face the fact that climate change is changing the agricultural image, not just in Serbia, but in the world. Young farmers decided to think and act differently to deal with the situation: plant more in the shielded areas, use effective ways to protect their plants, make better utilization of their products and take better care of their environment. This is just a humble example of how great a role in fighting climate change young people actually have. So, to save the planet, let’s start with earth!