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Permaculture, agroforestry and traditional fruit-growing conference in Hungary

Report by Andrea Vityi

The Fifth Permaculture, Agroforestry and Traditional Fruit Growing Conference (V. MAPER-AFINET-KmGYH Conference and Forum) was held on January 24, 2020, organized jointly by the Hungarian Permaculture Association, the Hungarian Regional Agroforestry Network (AFINET) and the Hungarian Agroforestry Civil Group (EURAF member association), the Carpathian Network of Traditional Fruit Growers, and the Department of Organic and Sustainable Production Systems of Szent István University. As always, interest was high; there were over 100 participants, many of whom are farmers and multipliers.

The conference focused on the relationship between research and practice, and on the way to support and develop this relationship. The presentations of the morning session focused on highlights from studies and projects on permaculture and agroforestry. Results of AFINET project and introduction of the activities within AGFOSY project have also been presented. During the lunch break, a poster section provided new ideas and insights. In the afternoon there was an interactive forum with lively debates, with various stakeholders and organizations aiming to identify next steps to bridge the gap between research and practice. There were 7 thematic workshops focusing on different specific topics, and participants discussed the most pressing research needs, the feasibility and the circumstances of carrying out joint activities. The results of the brainstorming session were summarized and discussed at the final plenary session.

In fact, the event functions as a hub where representatives of various practices that are part of organic farming exchange knowledge, information and experience and develop each other in a mutually reinforcing way. According to the tradition, the organizers will continue their joint activity which attracts a wider range of agro-ecological stakeholders from year to year.