Visit to demonstration project in Portugal: Exploring sustainable solutions in Alentejo

Visit to demonstration project in Portugal: Exploring sustainable solutions in Alentejo

Visit to demonstration project in Portugal: Exploring sustainable solutions in Alentejo

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Working can sometimes be a pleasure. This was our feeling after a transformative journey through the beautiful landscape of Alentejo. From BIOAZUL, as coordinators of the BONEX project, part of our responsibility is to ensure that demonstration activities are running smoothly. With this purpose in mind, we recently embarked on a poignant field visit to meet our colleagues at NBI, eager to delve into the intricacies of their demonstration case study.

The day began with an inspiring visit to Herdade das Marzalonas in Beja, where the marriage of agroecology and agricultural production unfolded before our eyes. We learned a new concept firsthand: ecological engineering. This approach involves implementing carefully planned interventions in natural landscapes to achieve specific goals while minimizing undesired effects on the environment. By doing so, we can maintain the natural balance and preserve biodiversity while addressing human needs or challenges.

The results were remarkable. The utilization of synergetic plant species for pest management and enhanced pollination significantly improved crop performance and reduced costs. Noteworthy was the strategic deployment of cover crops, which significantly bolstered soil water retention, rendering the fields more resilient to drought conditions. Furthermore, being surrounded by the precious landscape, full of colors and birdsong, made the experience very different from that of a traditional agricultural landscape. Witnessing the harmonious dance of nature truly captivated our souls.

But this was not the only surprise of the day. After driving for an hour through the green fields of Alentejo, we reached Herdade do Esporão, a prominent wine producer. Of particular interest was the integration of forest landscapes with agricultural fields, illustrating a holistic approach to land management that enhances both productivity and ecological resilience. Once again, we found ourselves surrounded by nature in the midst of hectares of irrigated fields. This approach not only ensures environmental stewardship but also cultivates a unique value proposition for consumers, emphasizing the intrinsic link between sustainability and business success. We experienced this firsthand by purchasing quite a few bottles of delicious wine.

Reflecting on the day’s revelations, it became clear that sustainability isn’t merely a noble endeavor; it is a strong driver of change in a world that needs solutions for the huge challenge of climate change. In the embrace of nature’s beauty lies the promise of a brighter future—one where sustainability isn’t just a choice, but a way of life.

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