roller crimper small photo

Roller-crimper in a rye-vetch cover crop-mixture; Photo: A. Grand


Soil fertility, cropping systems, nutrient-, humus balances, soil tillage, agroforestry, water household, knowledge transfer, local, indigenous, traditional ecological knowledge, farmers’ experiments, innovation, regulatory framework, certification systems, home gardens, wild collections, ethno sciences, rural development, urban food / farming systems, organic farming and societal change, systems theory/ scenario technique, transfer approaches, transdisciplinarity, ethics, farming systems in the tropics.

Organic Farming in Austria

In 2017, 21 % of the farms and 24 % of the agricultural land in Austria were under organic management. About one third of the grassland, one third of the fruit production area and 18 % of the livestock units in Austria are organic.


Division of Organic Farming (IfÖL) at BOKU


Introductory courses on Organic Agriculture (OA) can be studied in the bachelor. At master level a German (national) and English (international) (EUR-Organic) master study program is offered.


Research approach:

Organic farming research at the Division of Organic Farming aims at the advancement of organic agriculture and food systems by taking the ethical and systemic nature of organic farming as well as the local knowledge, creativity and innovative capacity of the actors along the supply chain into account.

The division is structured into three working groups: Soil Fertility & Cropping Systems; Knowledge Systems & Innovation; Transdisciplinary System Research

More than 15 PhDs and approx. 20 master thesis per year are working on topics related to organic agriculture, organic food and related aspects.


Selected research projects at IfÖL:

- EIP-Agri: “Yield performance and soil organic matter built-up by reduced tillage and organic fertilization”

- “MUBIL”: A long-term field monitoring on the conversion to organic farming and the development of agroecological complementary measurements

-ECOBREED: Increasing the competitiveness of organic crop breeding and improving the availability of seed and varieties suitable for organic and low-input production?

- “Homegrown – There’s nothing like a homegarden!” Agro-biodiversity in farmers’ homegardens

- Gathering of wild plant species in organic farming in Austria

- Gathering wild foods in urban areas – mixed-methods study on ecological and socio-political sustainability of gathering in Vienna, Austria (UrbanWildFoods)

- Promoting young stock and cow health and welfare by natural feeding systems

- Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS): Facts and fiction on the concept of participation
- ERASMUS+ “EUROEducates”: Creation of an agroecological educational toolkit
- “The Future of Urban Food”:Scenarios of urban agrofood systems and their eco-economic impacts, case of Vienna
- EdiCitNet: a reference framework on nature-based Edible City Solutions for inclusive urban regeneration
- Low-Input Farming and Territories (LIFT) - Integrating knowledge for improving ecosystem-based farming
- Innovating Sustainable Agriculture in Mozambique - Learning and Teaching Tools (ISAM): Increasing the capacity of young people to contribute to higher education for students and extension services for smallholder farmers in the field of agriculture and rural development
- Building Organic Agriculture in Armenia; Improving the knowledge and skills of organic stakeholders through participatory curriculum development and outreach (BOAA)
- Smallholder Farmer Strategies to cope with Climate Change, Ethiopia and Kenya (SMACC): providing field-to-market strategies for production intensification of selected key crops that are regionally adapted to help sub-Saharan regions cope with Climate Change


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jürgen K. Friedel; Univ. Prof. Dr. Bernhard Freyer; Assoc.
Prof. Dr. Christian R. Vogl, Division of Organic Farming, Department of
Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Natural Resources and Life
Sciences (BOKU), Vienna; ,