THE INFLUENCE OF AGRI-ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES AND INDICATORS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SLOVAK AGRICULTURE SUSTAINABILITY PUBLISHEDMagdaléna Lacko-Bartošová, Štefan Buday, Lucia Lacko-Bartošová
The individual components of the environment are significantly influenced by agricultural activities carried out in the agricultural landscape. The objective of this study was to evaluate the selected agri-environmental indicators, such as the use of fertilizers, the use of chemicals, and the consumption of water in agriculture. Measures of Axis 2 of the Rural Development Programme of the Slovak Republic for the period of 2007-2013 helped to mitigate the negative impact of agricultural practices and activities on the selected individual components of the environment and landscape. The study is focused on the selected measures of the Axis 2: agro-environmental NATURA 2000 payments on agricultural land and animal welfare payments. The most important measure, agri-environmental payment is divided into three groups of the sub measures: environmentally friendly practices, soil conservation measures and conservation of biodiversity. The purpose of the implementation of such measures is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of the environment, for example to improve the biodiversity, soil quality and animal welfare, etc. The most widely used measure; agri-environmental payment also aims to maintain the ecosystem, species and genetic diversity by maintaining the prescribed methods of land management. Especially activities within the area-related measures have contributed to improvement of the quality of agricultural land and water by limitation of fertilizers and pesticides use. Most of the selected measures contributed to the better adaptation of agriculture to climate change and emission of GHG. Agri-environment payments play a prominent role in supporting the sustainable development of rural areas and in responding to society´s increasing demands for environmental services. They encourage farmers and land managers to serve society by introducing or continuing to apply agricultural practices that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and that are compatible with the protection and improvement of the environment, the landscape and its features, natural resources, and the soil and genetic diversity.
Rural Development Programme, NATURA 2000, Agri-environmental payments, evaluation