On 22nd June 2023, Kennedy Mutua represented the Institute of Agricultural Economics (AKI) in the Hungarian Delegation led by Dr. Anikó Juhász, Deputy State Secretary for Agriculture, in a bilateral technical meeting in Bratislava, where Martin Kováč, State Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, presented the recently developed strategies to increase the water retention capacity of soil by improving hydrological conditions.
The State Secretary underscored how small water cycles are crucial and can be maintained by using agro-technical operations to increase water retention and soil holding capacity post sudden heavy rainfall. Such measures are premised on ensuring evapotranspiration is maintained at equilibrium for longer periods with positive effects on both the natural and built environment. The consultation underlined the increased role of farmers’ cooperation at local level in the implementation of desired measures and how their strategies are contributing to mitigation and adaptation of climate change impacts at national level.
The meeting further discussed the popularity of the commitments of the Agro-ecological Programmes, the experience of the CAP Strategic Plan so far, the role of National Chambers of Agriculture and Village Farmers’ Networks, and the agricultural aspects of the draft regulation establishing an EU Certification Framework for Carbon Dioxide Removal. Proposed measures for Carbon Farming must be geared towards revitalising soil health which is essential for water management. The meeting highlighted the importance of Nexus Agriculture and how future policy framings must be anchored on water management as its fundamental for all other aspects of agriculture and environment.
Both sides welcomed the discussions and expect further cooperation between the two ministries in the near future.