Media release

Congress in Riga brings together Nordic agricultural scientists

Photo: © Valts Kleins
18 June 2015

Taking place on 16-18 June in Riga at the University of Latvia, the 25th Congress of Nordic Association of the Agricultural Scientists (NJF) on Nordic View of Sustainable Rural Development brought together over 250 participants with 150 scientific reports. The Congress created a platform for exchanging the latest research results and sharing the advanced research methods in the sectors of bioeconomy, sustainable agriculture and rural development.

The programme of the Congress encompassed a wide range of topics in agriculture including crop farming, animal welfare, farm management and entrepreneurship, sustainable land management and also food quality and safety, environment protection, agricultural policy, education and many others.

"The key word of the 25th NJF Congress was bioeconomy, and this Congress outlined a broadening of the scope of scientific discussions beyond agricultural topics. Parallel to agriculture, bioeconomy also addresses all other sectors of national economy where a product is obtained from biomass, for example, forestry and wood processing, fisheries and aquaculture, landscape architecture, food industry, biochemistry, bioenergy and others. Moreover, bioeconomy is examining developments in the national economy in correlation with the developments in nature and the society," says Latvian Minister for Agriculture Jānis Dūklavs.

The Congress participants mainly represented the Nordic and Baltic countries, also the neighbouring counties – Poland, Germany, Belarus and other countries such as the US, Turkey and India. Reports on topical issues were presented by high-level experts – Sirpa Kurppa, Research Professor at the Natural Resources Institute Finland; Rogier Schulte, Group Leader from the Teagasc Institute, Ireland; Svein Skøien, researcher at the Bioforsk Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research; Armands Krauze, Parliamentary Secretary at the Latvian Ministry of Agriculture; Irina Pilvere, Rector and Professor at the Latvia University of Agriculture and others.

At the closing ceremony of the Congress, NJF Latvia Chairman of the Board, Professor Pēteris Rivža noted that for the first time an event brought together so many agricultural scientists in Latvia. Main scientific directions were related to energy and innovation. Topical researches were made also in GHG emission reduction and sustainable rural development issues.

To transfer the latest scientific knowledge and research results to the industry, the Congress organisers together with the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre also involved agricultural advisers, agricultural school teachers and entrepreneurs in the Congress work and discussions.

NJF is the oldest Nordic organisation and in 2018 it will celebrate 100th anniversary. The most important event of NJF is the Congress, which takes place once every four years in one of the member states. So far, the Congress has been held 24 times in different Nordic countries, while the 25th Congress for the first time takes place in the Baltic States – in Riga.

The Congress is one of the associated events of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is organised by the Latvian National Association of the NJF together with the NJF Board and the Scientific Committee, the Latvian Academy of Science, the Latvian Ministry of Agriculture, the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, Silava Scientific Institute, the Latvia Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, the Latvia University of Agriculture and the University of Latvia. The Congress is organised within the activities of the Latvian Rural Network and co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Kristīne Rīna
Expert in communication