RO-1 :: Food security and food safety. Soil and water management environmentally oriented practices: a need for more practical tools for farmers.

The continuous growing world demands for food consumption and the last decades public concerns on environment issues linked to an increased number of “food scares” has led to a committed seek for achieving a sustainable agriculture and viable agricultural systems as critical issues for both food security and food safety, if not in all, but for sure in most of the developed countries, where the technological products of modernity have produced innumerable benefits as well as unforeseen risks. Improvement in agricultural sustainability requires, alongside effective water and crop management, the optimal use and management of soil fertility and soil physical, chemical and biological properties. Carried assessments reveal a need for more practical farm-oriented approaches and decision support tools are recently used for farmers up taking of soil and water management practices and experiences.
Specific research questions:
Land management
• How food security and food safety simultaneously can be achieved with a minimum impact on soil, water and biodiversity?
Why: Viable technical support is needed to respond to the most common farmer’s questions: Where we can produce more? Which are the types of holdings with the highest growth potential? Where this kind of growth puts the lowest pressure on soil, water and biodiversity resources?
Net impacts
• Development of practical tools able to respond to risks induced by soil degradation processes under the global climate change impact.
Why: At country level, there are recorded significant soil degradation processes developed in the agricultural area: soil erosion, organic matter and biodiversity losses, soil contamination, soil cover with low-permeability artificial structures, soil compaction, soil alkalinity/salinity.
Land management and Net impacts
• Fresh water: how soils can be managed with regard to an intelligent use of continuously decreasing water resources?
Why: There is a certain need for an improved water use in the farms. A better insight of the soil-water-sediments-plant system will lead to a better shaped range of water stress resistant crops and varieties. It is expected that water deficit during drought periods will lead to an increased number of dams built on almost all rivers across the country. The occurring run off erosion and dam lakes silting (with sediments) have to be assessed and predicted by a long-term plan for minimizing the impact of soil erosion in the collector river basins.