Created in 2015 the goals of this project are:
- Preservation of the local agricultural biodiversity and genetic resources
- Income diversification for Polish smallholders
- Increase of the resilience of local ecosystems with the insertion of old varieties resistant to diseases and pest.
“In our small orchard we still have some old trees, with varieties such as kosztela, malinowka, antonowka. We take great care of them, to have them giving fruits as long as possible. We were dreaming of a bigger orchard and we tried to graft these varieties, but we did not succeed. We heard about the project “Kosztela” in 2016. It was like a dream coming true. After the first talks and the preliminary visit of Agrinatura’s team, we decided to establish a true traditional orchard. One that will transform and enhance the ecosystem of our farm and will give tasty fruits for many years to come.” – Michal and Dorotha Makaruk
The polish agriculture is dominated by a large number of family farms, 8ha in average, with an agricultural biodiversity relatively well preserved. However, in the 60’s, the search for profit and the market pressure led to production intensification. More and more farmers switched from traditional orchards, composed of several old fruit varieties to high productivity orchards and few fruit varieties, causing a change in the local landscape and ecosystem.
AgriNatura, a polish NGO, is aiming at introducing biodiversity in agricultural systems. AgriNatura and PUR Projet launched in 2015 the Kosztela project. The project, named after an iconic traditional apple variety, supports smallholders in Poland looking to restore traditional orchards.
Benefits from high stem orchards and traditional varieties are numerous:
- They are privileged habitats for the local fauna,
- They increase the soil’s fertility and reduce its erosion,
- With consumers and the overall population increasingly aware of the need for healthy food and sustainable agricultural practices, participants can generate new income processing and selling the fruits from their traditional orchard.
LocationMazova region, Poland
Agroforestry and reforestation
Local partnerAgriNatura Foundation
Participants162 Small and medium-sized family farms
Achievements175000 planted trees
supply chainFruits and Vegetables
The AgriNatura Foundation is a Polish NGO founded in 2007 to promote organic farming and preserving agricultural biodiversity. They act at a local, national and European level with educational projects for farmers, youth and women in rural areas, development models of economically viable agriculture protecting biodiversity in all its aspects.
More than 100 traditionnal polish Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry varieties:
Small and medium family farms (5-25 ha) mainly organic, selected for their skills, environmental approach and their interest in having a commercial product in the long term.