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Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL

In order to meet the future challenges of agriculture and nutrition, outstanding experts are needed who are able to manage the complexity of sustainable agriculture and nutrition and to exploit systemic effects. FiBL trains future players to meet these challenges.

The Master's program at FiBL in Frick is available in the following departments:

Department of Soil Sciences

The soil plays a central role in organic farming. In long-term field trials and on farms, we are investigating the effects of organic and conventional farming systems on soil quality and on efficiency in terms of fertilizers and energy. The focus is on microbial communities, reduced tillage, use of beneficial organisms and improvement of nutrient cycles. We quantify greenhouse gas emissions from land use and derive climate-friendly measures.

The main areas of research are:

Department of Crop Sciences

We have many years of experience in research, development and implementation in the organic cultivation of fruit, wine, vegetables and selected arable crops. We focus on ensuring yield security and food quality and promote biodiversity, pollinators, beneficial organisms and soil fertility. We use preventive agronomic measures, variety diversity, state-of-the-art crop protection strategies and functional biodiversity. Our work involves the key players in the value chain from farmer to market.

The main areas of research are:

Department of Livestock Sciences

Using interdisciplinary and participatory approaches, we develop concepts to improve livestock management on organic farms. The combination of site-appropriate breeding, animal-friendly husbandry, efficient hygiene measures and adequate feeding strategies are of crucial importance. In the field of animal health, we research the causes of disease, preventive measures, and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine. We apply the findings to herd management and holistic animal health concepts.

The main areas of research are:

Department of Socio-Economic

We develop decision bases for the future challenges in ecological and sustainable agriculture and food production. How does agricultural policy affect organic farming and sustainability? What institutional developments are necessary to promote organic and sustainable farming systems? We use sales experiments with consumers, produce sustainability analyses and investigate reasons for innovation implementation and farm conversions among farmers.

The main areas of research are:

Department of International Cooperation

We specialise in agricultural research and consulting for, with and in developing and emerging countries. The focus is on the promotion of poverty-relevant economic sectors and markets. Our task is to develop and promote sustainable agricultural and marketing systems with the aim of raising living standards sustainably and improving access to healthy, affordable food. We work closely with companies, local development organisations and/or authorities, thereby strengthening local partners in strategic and practical skills on the ground.

The main areas of research are:

Responsible for the FiBL - ZHAW cooperation:

Matthias Stolze
Head of the Department of Socio-Economic Sciences at FiBL