Agriculture for the 21st Century
This traditional domain in the Olomouc Region currently places much more emphasis on sustainability and ecology. Activities in this area primarily involve basic and applied research in agriculture, the food industry, and the environment; manufacture of seed, plant protection preparations, substrates, and animal feed; and production of agricultural machines and parts, innovative growing methods, and development of applications.
Research, Development, and Innovations
Research and development activities focus on addressing current challenges in agriculture, with the main link being sustainable development. Examples include the development of seeds with increased resistance to pests, thus minimising the use of pesticides and chemical sprays; research into the genetic resources of plants, genetic and breeding technologies of legumes, and cultivation technologies; testing and analyses of inorganic and organic substances, types of soils, biological materials; and work with growth regulators and research into the effects of the environment on plants. An entity significant in biotechnological and agricultural research is Centre of the Haná Region for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research (CATRIN – CRH), unique worldwide in reading the genetic information of crops, especially wheat and barley.
The research and development of agricultural technologies centres, for instance, on hydroponics, but also on digital applications facilitating livestock flock registers, etc.
Relationship with Schools
Agriculture is facing a shortage of skilled staff due to flagging popularity of the sector. Agriculture still has not become a “hot” field, though its future is associated with digitalisation of manufacture, development of software for efficient fertilisation, environmentally conscious attitude towards pesticides, etc.
Companies try to fill this market gap through cooperation at secondary school level (field trips, work experience). In a similar vein, the companies cooperate with universities by trying to participate in the courses within various curricula. However, direct linking of educational offers of universities to this domain is lacking in the Olomouc Region. The Faculty of Science of UP Olomouc offers related programmes such as chemistry, ecology, and biochemistry.