Assembly of European Horticultural Regions

EU projects


The Estonian Center for Rural Knowledge and Research (METK) works under the Estonian Ministry of the Agriculture. METK breeds crops, produces seeds, studies the effects of crops and agro-technologies on soil proprieties, takes soil samples and analyses them, carries out the soil maps and advisory systems based on soil proprieties.  


Existing activities that depend on the soil health:  

  • Crop breeding, field trials;  
  • 1100 ha of high-altitude seed production: cereals, oilseeds, rape vegetables, fodder grass, legumes;  
  • GIS-based advice for crop selection based on filed soil proprieties. 


Soil Health assessment services available:  

  • Soil sampling services for farms; 
  • Laboratory analyses of soil chemical, physical and microbiological proprieties of soil.  


Services available to improve soil health: 

  • Digital soil maps help to raise awareness among target groups about soil condition:  
  • Filed trials to test the impact of soil amendments on soils properties; 
  • Filed trials to test the impact of technology, practices, pesticides or crops on soil properties.  


Services under development to improve soil health: 

  • A digital map to assess the carbon stock of agricultural soils;  
  • A digital map of soil carbon maps. 


Possible activities to support soil health:  

  • “Health Soil” certification (seed producer can charge higher price for vegetables if soil is certified, landowner can charge higher rent for land with certified soil, area payments can be higher if soil is certified); 
  • Advisory services – reasons for caring for soil health, soil diagnostics, soil maintenance/ repair practices.  


Potential inhibitors:  

  • Economic crisis -high input prices and decrease of agricultural supports. 
  • Competition with products and services with a lower cost.  
  • Competition with products for other countries with a lower cost. 
  • Lack of motivated/skilled labor in agriculture, agricultural IT. 
  • Climate Change – drought, strong winds and excessive precipitations. 
  • Pest attacks – birds, plant diseases, insects, wilds. 
  • Decrease of pollinators – bees and bumblebees.  
  • Lack of good – performance of IT – hardware and grid both, this risk for developers and end-users both.  


Potential enablers: 

  • Social awareness (interested in high quality and crop seeds which are more resistant to pests). 
  • Supports for agricultural practices, which are good for soil health. 
  • Existing farmer network and policies 
  • Good laboratory infrastructure – reliable, capable, accessible (not too expensive).  
  • Soil health supporting policies (national and EU level – e.g. Soil Mission).  
  • Funding of soil research and dissemination/promotion of results.  
  • Dissemination of valuable results from previous soil studies. 


Know more about the METK from its website  

Know more about Novasoil


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n°101091268


110 Quai de Paludate
33800 Bordeaux
Réalisation et maintenance par