What are farmers interested in when it comes to the utilisation of bio-based resources? The survey was conducted as part of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region funded project BalticBiomass4Value, of which FNR is a project partner. The interests of Estonian farmers in the utilisation of bio-based resources were investigated and mapped. The Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce together with the Estonian University of Life Sciences and the Ministry of Rural Affairs carried out the survey.
The survey was open from February to March 2021; in total 271 producers answered the survey. With regard to type of producers, the majority of the respondents were farmers of whom 102 (~37%) are engaged in crop production and 90 (~33%) in livestock farming. Others included producers from food industry and forestry as well as service providers. Most participants are operating small size companies with 0-10 employees.
As a result of the study, in these companies the main bio-based resource produced as by-product is manure (~32%), followed by straw (~20%) and biomass from grasslands (~19%). The companies also indicated their high interest in utilization and adding value of these bio-based resource types, while 17% of respondents answered that they currently do not utilise bio-based resources generated in production. According to the survey, today the manure is mainly used as an organic fertilizer and in some cases as a raw material for biogas production. Straw is used for animal bedding and occasionally farmers crush the straw and incorporate it into the soil as an amendment. Biomass from grasslands is mostly used for animal feed.
In addition, there were many different topics of interest when it comes to processing of bio-based resources. In case of companies, the most relevant questions are related to the subsidies (~25%) and investment financing opportunities (~22%). There was also a great interest regarding development of new products and services as well as in finding new business ideas for processing of bio-based resources. In addition, 70 producers (~25%) expressed their interest in exchanging knowledge and experience with companies operating in the same field in other EU countries.
For more information about the BalticBiomass4Value project visit: https://balticbiomass4value.eu/
The BalticBiomass4Value project is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme, co-funded by the European Union fund ERDF.
FNR contact person: Lena Caroline Huck