Scholar Profile - 2023 Winner

Marcin Markowicz - Opolskie, POLAND

Study: Regenerative farming practices and their impact on soil health

Marcin Markowicz is an inaugural Nuffield Scholar from Poland and receives a 2023 scholarship to study regenerative farming practices and their impact on soil health, supported by a Top Farms Group.

Marcin has a Ph.D of Agricultural Science from Wroclaw University of Environmental Studies as well as a graduate of the Spearhead Academy Management Development Program and is responsible for cereals, rape and soya in the combinable crops department of Top Farms Gubczyce Company. The business is based in Opolskie Province and has one of the best cropping lands in Poland, producing 4,400 ha of cereals, 1,600 ha of canola, 1,100 ha of potatoes, 1,600 ha of sugar beet, 1,000 ha of maize, 600 ha of soya and 200 ha of other crops. It also has a milk production unit with 1,500 cows. The company employs 200 people and cooperates with many companies in the agricultural sector.

Marcin says agriculture has responsibility not just to ensure food security, but also longer-term environmental protection, and heathy soils are a critical element of this.

"Healthy and fertile soil is essential to produce highly nutritious food, but soil degradation and humus depletion occur in most areas in Poland, and it is necessary to change the approach to cultivation and care of our soil. For my scholarship, I would like to focus on soil health, find new practices to increase the content of humus and soil fertility and mitigate the effects of soil degradation in intensive tillage species that affect the soil structure. My aim is to identify simplified soil cultivation systems, understand the diversity of crop rotation and find ways to reduce fertilization in regions such as the USA and Western Europe".

Marcin has been a member of the program board of the Terra Nostra - Agricultural Development Foundation since September 2019 and also has a Badge of Honour for merits in agriculture. In his spare time, Marcin enjoys fishing, cycling and traveling.

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