An eco-farm implementing agri-environment-climate measures aims to foster ecosystem services and climate adaptation on-farm as well as promote wider uptake throughout the farming community.
Thanks to EAFRD support granted during the 2007-2013 programming period, the Marada family farm was established by a young farmer, taking over and reconverting an intensive farm-holding into an ecological demo-farm providing advisory services. Through this additional project, the farm is now implementing further sustainable practices for the protection of soil, water, landscape and regenerative process developed on this eco-farm biodiversity, in an organic farming system. These consist of: a) establishing grass buffer zones on the land most at risk of water erosion; b) setting up a network of feed bio-belts to support farmland birds and wildlife; c) implementing measures on arable land with the aim to protect northern lapwing and wetland ecosystem habitats bordering the fields; d) planting grassy areas with typical regional varieties of fruit trees. The sustainable farming and regenerative process developed on this eco-farm enables the restoration of soil fertility, soil organic matter and biodiversity of wild fauna and flora. Altogether, the measures undertaken provide essential adaptation capacity against the increasing intensity and frequency of flooding and droughts due to climate change. These practices acquire further importance as the farm operates a demonstration platform for training and exchange of knowledge and good practices, involving and connecting a broad variety of stakeholders, including accredited agricultural advisory services, who can learn from the concrete experience of the Marada farm.
Under the project, the eco-farm is applying the agri-environment-climate measures deemed necessary, suitable and functional to regenerate the ecosystem services absent on its farmland. Diverse environmental benefits to wildlife, habitat, biodiversity and water quality have resulted from such actions, and soil quality improvements such as organic matter increase and structure allow for adaptation to climate-induced extreme rainfall and droughts. Capacity building and training for farmers has been provided through the demonstration of the farm’s best practices and results.