International Scientific Days 2022

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On May 11-13, 2022, the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra hosted the traditional international scientific conference "International Scientific Days 2022: Efficient, Sustainable and Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems – The Interface of Science, Policy and Practice". The event was held in a combined way (with both in person and online participants), while its last edition was organised online due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Within the plenary session, after the opening of the conference by the Dean Dr.h.c. prof. Dr. Ing. Elena Horská and the Vice-Rector doc. Ing. Drahoslav Lančarič, PhD., keynote speeches were presented by:

- prof. Ing. Juraj Sipko, PhD., MBA – member of the European and Social Committee, Brussels, Institute of Economics, Slovak Academy of Sciences with the topic "Current socio-economic development of EU member state economies"

- Dr. Ellen van Kleef – Associate Professor in the field of healthy food consumer behaviour in the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group at the Wageningen University, the Netherlands, with the topic "Consumer Food Science Fit for the Future: The COMFOCUS Startup Community"

- and Oleg Nivievskyj, PhD. – Vice-Rector for Economic Education, Kyiv School of Economics (Ukraine) online with the topic "Implications of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine for Global Food Markets and Food Policy"

The plenary session was chaired by Vice-Dean prof. Ing. Zuzana Kapsdorferová, PhD.

At the end of the plenary session, the main topics of two Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership projects were presented by their local coordinators, doc. Patrik Rovný, PhD. (VISYFARM) and Ing. Jana Gálová, PhD. (SUSTA).

This year's conference was attended by more than 80 participants in person and almost 120 national and international colleagues and faculty partners joined online, among others from the Netherlands, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Mongolia, Albania, and Nigeria.

Ensuring more people on the planet have enough, better quality, and healthier food requires many actions to transform food systems into sustainable, efficient, resilient, and environmentally friendly ones. The 17th annual conference provided a venue for policy makers, senior managers, academics, and researchers to address the global challenges affecting the agri-food system. The conference was held under the auspices of the Faculty of Economics and Management, the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, and was supported by the Visegrad University Association (VUA), the European University Information System (EUNIS Slovakia), the Association of Agricultural Economists in Slovakia (AAES), the Global Harmonization Initiative (Science for improving food safety law and trade), ICoM 2022, the Hungarian Association of Agricultural Economists, and others.

The topics of the conference within the sessions were:

- Agricultural policy: economics, management, trade, foreign investment, industrial policy and logistics

- Bioeconomy, resource management and sustainable development

- Healthy and sustainable food consumption

- Food chain and unfair trade practices

- New dimensions of education and the use of ICT

- The concept of short food chains and its interaction with the EU Common Agricultural Policy

- Viability of small farms managed by young farmers under new "farm-to-fork" strategy – session of the VISYFARM Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project, no. 2020-1-CZ01-KA203-078495

- Teaching Sustainability in Higher Education in the Field of Economics and Management – session of the SUSTA Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project, no. 2020-1-PL01-KA203-081980

The organisation of the international scientific conference after the COVID-19 pandemic brought back the opportunity for face-to-face meetings and scientific discussions as well as outlined a new direction for scientific events, combining a presentational format with online connectivity of more remote participants and creating a platform for the presentation of current project topics of collaborating departments. In the case of ISD 2022, the outputs of APVV, VEGA and KEGA projects, as well as outputs and activities of international projects were presented.

During the plenary session, the H2020 project COMFOCUS (no. 101005259) officially launched its Open Call for researchers (www.comfocus.eu) to use the Wageningen University software solution "Easy Questionnaire Tool". The launch was broadcast through the project's Facebook page and MS TEAMS, and immediately after the call was published, the first responses were monitored from interested parties to use the benefits of the COMFOCUS project for the newly-created community of researchers on the topic of consumer behaviour in the field of healthy nutrition. The call was presented by prof. Horská as the local coordinator of the project.

The extended conference programme also included activities of the Erasmus+ project VISYFARM (no. 2020-1-CZ01-KA203-078495), which focuses on the long-term sustainability of small farms managed by young farmers in the context of the EU's new farm-to-consumer strategy, which is part of the ambitious Green Deal for Europe. An international team is preparing a review and assessment of past and new policies in the consortium countries targeting young farmers managing small farms.

As part of the conference programme, there were also dissemination activities within the Erasmus+ project SUSTA (no. 2020-1-PL01-KA203-081980), which aims to create an involving concept of teaching sustainability for students of business related studies which will result in raising the awareness and involvement in the problems of sustainability.

During the second day of the conference, the 21st edition of the Networking and Information Technology Workshop took place. The international participants also visited the AgroBioTech University Research Centre and the last day of the conference was dedicated to the annual meeting of the international Agribusiness and Commerce network AGRIMBA.

Author: Dr. Jana Gálová

IMTSS FEM SUA in Nitra

 

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