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Institute of Organic Farming

Mission Statement

Of all the forms of land management, ecological land mangement is considered the least harmful to the environment. Its holistic approach unites environmental, economic and social principles. It is therefore an area of agricultural research towards which we feel a keen sense of duty in our teaching and interdisciplinary research. The Institute for Ecological Farming (Institut für Ökologischen Landbau [IfÖL]), founded in 1996, is the largest research body in Austria dealing with ecological land management. The Institute supervises and coordinates teaching and research on ecological land management both within the BOKU as well as externally, at both national and international level.

The range of our teaching methods includes lectures, seminars, exercises and field trips, dealing with a variety of themes within the field of ecological land management. We place a strong emphasis on building up a wide-ranging basic knowledge. In our teaching, we are concerned to put across the latest developments, the relevance of teaching to research and practice, and a sense of internationalism. Through project-based teaching we allow students insight into future career possibilities.

The members of this young team work in a wide spectrum of disciplines, from earth sciences through plant cultivation and on to socio-economic fields. The work of the Institute is put into practice within Austria and Eastern Europe as well as in various countries in the tropics and subtropics. The discussion of key topics takes place on the team level. Beyond this, there exist research agreements with other institutions.

The improvement of the interaction between soil and plant and the improvement of the entire production system of ecological land mangement count among the objectives of our research. In the regional context we investigate the question of what consequences a changeover would have on man, society, economy and environment, and what preconditions are necessary for this to take place.

Research projects take shape in close discussion with our partners. The results of our research support farmers and land managers in their work on the ground, provide guidelines for advice, deliver information to the food industry and prepare the ground for the implementation of agricultural and environmental policy.

Statistik Austria, science classification

Action research
Agricultural and food biotechnology related ethics
Business ethics
Development cooperation
Empirical social research
Grain cultivation
Innovation research
Knowledge management
Market research
Organic farming
Psychology of perception
Renewable resources
Soil erosion
Soil science
Sustainable agriculture
Sustainable economics

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