The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-Eastern Europe, within the project “Rural development through integrated forest and water resources management in Southeast Europe: Rural perspectives: qualification, reintegration and (self) employment” supported the organization of the regional event “Third International Symposium for Agriculture and Food – ISAF 2017”. The event was organized by the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Macedonia and will be held in the period from 18-20 October 2017 in Ohrid, Macedonia.
The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, Skopje has a tradition of organizing different events for the domestic and the international scientific public in the area of agricultural sciences, natural resources, environment and food. The aim of these meetings is to gather the researchers to present the latest scientific achievements in the area of agriculture and food production. One of the events organized by the faculty is the Faculty-Economy meeting, with a tradition of 40 years. For the occasion of its 65th anniversary, the faculty has started with the organization of an International Symposium; the first International Symposium for Agriculture and Food (ISAF) has been organized in 2012, including several different events, thus representing the biggest meeting of the scientific public in the area of agriculture and food. Starting from that year, the international symposium got regular character, being organized every second year. The second ISAF has been organized in 2015.
The organization of ISAF 2017 aimed at gathering scientists, experts, but also representatives from the agribusinesses dealing in the area of agriculture and food production, to present the latest scientific novelties, developments of new products and technologies, and also for stimulating fruitful discussions in a form of exchange of ideas and experience. Thus, this event served as a ground for initiating new collaborations and future researches in the area of agricultural sciences, natural resources, environment and food production. The organization of ISAF 2017 also enabled establishing a network of researchers working in the area of agriculture and related fields, by connecting the scientific community not only from South East Europe, but also with the researchers and scholars from recognized European institutions willing to cooperate among each other.
The ISAF 2017 covered several topics, divided in different scientific sections: agricultural economics; agricultural machinery; animal biotechnology; field crop production; food quality and safety; fruit growing; genetics, breeding and genetic resources; natural resources management and environment protection; plant protection – phytomedicine; vegetable, flower and decorative plants production; and viticulture and wine production. In each of these sections eminent researchers from different countries provided presentations of the latest scientific findings in the respective area. Participants from 26 countries submitted 400 abstracts, published in the Book of Abstracts, and 250 research studies were presented as oral or poster presentations. Three plenary speakers (Elazar Fallik form Izrael, Rodolfo Nayga and Rameshwar Kanwar from USA) presented the state of the art research findings in the area of agricultural sciences. At the opening ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy and the Rector of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje had their speeches. Beside the researchers, more than 120 representatives of NGOs, agribusiness and agricultural producers were present at the event. The representatives from the agribusinesses sector had an exhibition of their products and services.