No. 6 · December 2006

Around Europe

An overview of current topics in partner countries

National German call for research and development projects in organic food and farming

In August 2006 the German Federal Organic Farming Scheme BÖL published a national call for research and development projects in organic food and farming. The call was open till the end of September for disciplinary and interdisciplinary project ideas.

The main topics of the call were plant production, animal production, organic food & nutrition and economics as well as knowledge transfer & communication. In addition to that, three interdisciplinary research topics were published:

  • Health and performance of organic dairy cattle
  • Health and performance of organic sow and farrows
  • Soil fertility and plant nutrition

More than 340 proposals were submitted, which seems to be a decrease compared to the years before. In the calls in 2002 and 2003 respectively more than 600 project proposals were handed in. To put this into perspective, the high number of large project consortia and interdisciplinary approaches even in the disciplinary topics must be taken into account. This evidence suggests that during the BÖL runtime since 2002 the organic scientific community moved closer together and important research topics are handled in larger consortia - a very positive aspect.

Other reasons for the decrease of submitted proposals might be the strong focussing of determined research topics in the call and the decision of many research groups to submit proposals in one of the three interdisciplinary calls.

In this place we want to acknowledge the support and the critics of all the stakeholders coming from science, advisory bodies and practice who took part in designing the call and want to say thank you to all the researchers for submitting their project ideas.

Currently the BÖL-team is working on the estimation of the proposals. Expert panels take place to discuss the ranking of the proposals and discussions with the German ministry of agriculture will follow until end of December. All submitters will be informed about the results in January 2007.

For further questions concerning BÖL research activities please contact the BÖL research management team (+49 (0)228-68453930 or +49 (0)228-68453254; or or visit our web-page