Browsing by Subject "agroekologinen symbioosi"

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  • Ryske, Iiris (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The modern food production consumes substantial amounts of fossil energy. Meanwhile, the bioenergy that is embedded in the side streams of food production – such as manure and excess grass biomass, is lost. That energy could be utilized by anaerobic digestion in biogas plants, which would also contribute to an efficient nutrient cycling since the nutrient-rich digestate can be used as a fertilizer. Agroecological symbiosis is a local model for a sustainable food system that is based on the cooperative actions of food production stakeholders around a biogas plant. The aim of this study was to discover what the application of agroecological symbiosis would mean for energy self-sufficiency, nutrient cycling, food production and the structure of agriculture on municipal level. The study subject area was the agricultural area in the municipality of Saltvik on Åland, where grassland for forage and pasture cover 40 % and grains 38 % of the agricultural land area. There are 0,56 livestock units per agricultural hectare. The current state of the food production was modelled based on local farming statistics. Based on that, three scenarios (S1-S3) with increasingly wide modifications were created. In the first scenario (S1), only the digestion of side streams in a biogas plant was added compared to the current system. On the second scenario (S2), 25 % of the agricultural land area devoted to grain production was altered to green manure leys, and in the third scenario (S3) 50 %. The reduction of grain area led to a lower degree of local self-sufficiency of grain feed, which was corrected by reducing the number of animals. The released share of grassland for forage was used for cultivating peas for direct human use. That way the scenarios represented a possible situation, where plant-based food production is increased and animal-based is decreased. The energy self-sufficiency was estimated by the relation of potential bioenergy production and fossil energy use. The rate of energy self-sufficiency rose scenario by scenario, as it was 58 % in S1, 69 % in S2 and 83 % in S3 due to the increased amount of bioenergy produced, as well as the decreased amount of fossil energy used. Simultaneously the portion of recycled nutrients used for fertilization was increased. Compared to the 46 % share of recycled nitrogen in the current system, 5, 9 and 17 percentage units more were used in the S1-S3, respectively. As for phosphorus the corresponding percentage units compared to the original 70 % were 3, 4 and 5 in S1-S3, respectively. The local self-sufficiency of feed remained unchanged and the food production nearly unchanged in each scenario compared to the current state. The study demonstrated the current potential to produce renewable energy in Saltvik based on agricultural side streams to a degree that would cover over half of the current fossil energy use of local food production. By shifting the focus of food production towards plant production, and by expanding the area of green manure furthermore increased the energy and nutrient self-sufficiency.