REVIVER project

Regenerative agriculture lessons from Estonia

In this article we present you with the key findings about agriculture in Estonia, which were collected and presented within wider research implemented as part of the REVIVER Project, standing for “Regenerative Agriculture for Vocational Education EU + Africa,”.


Trends in scientific research suggest that one priority of regenerative agriculture is providing the nation with access to sustainable, homegrown food. This lines up with historic long-term strategy dating back to 1995 where one main aim of planning was to ‘supply Estonian consumers with healthy food’. As such, reports on the adaption to climate change in the region suggest that the country has an incredibly low percentage of fallow land, and a high percentage of organic farming practices compared to the rest of the European Union. A report by the found that as of 2014, 15.7% of Estonian farmland constituted organic farming, the third highest share of any EU country with a strong emphasis on high nature value. A Eurostat report in this overview notes that as of 2016 Estonia had the highest percentage of zero tillage in Europe, contributing to minimizing soil disturbance. The report also lists a number of target values and indicators for successful regenerative agriculture including healthy soil, sufficient food production, clean environment, rich biodiversity, climate change mitigation, fair income. Development of biodiversity monitoring shows an increased awareness across Europe.



Cattle farming and sustainability


In addition, cattle farming has become an area of focus with research being carried out on the impacts of holistic management, a process of alternating short-term grazing periods, and carbon sequestration. As a major emitter of greenhouse gases, cattle farming and the sustainability of livestock and wildlife has become a priority with improved vegetation composition, cover and soil health noted as important factors. Demonstrations on such topics suggest that lack of machinery (particularly seed drills and intercropping equipment) poses a serious threat to the implantation of regenerative farming practice and a potential financial penalty for such endeavours suggests that policy needs to be adjusted to accommodate.

Forest and farming landscapes


In 2020 LIFE-IP project “Comprehensive management of forest and farming landscapes to improve the conservation status of Natura 2000 habitats and species” (ForEst&FarmLand) was launched, involving all key players from universities, forestry sector and nature conservation as well as NGOs to jointly protect and restore Estonian landscapes and ecosystems and to improve the condition of the species and habitats in Estonian forests and agricultural lands. The project collaborated with Estonian farmers to reconcile food production, biodiversity, and healthy soils, and to identify agro-ecological techniques for the conditions in Estonia, which will enable the development of more expedient agricultural support schemes in the future. A number of conservation practices in agricultural land were recommended as a result of the scheme:

  • converting parts of cultivated land to extensively used pasture
  • improving ecological conditions of field edges
  • leaving larkspur patches in winter crop
  • avoiding fertilizing, ploughing, and poisoning edge areas
  • turning manure into soul
  • adjustment of the grazing load by alternating the use of different paddocks
  • avoiding farming in areas prone to erosion.



To learn more about the policies in Estonia, and also results of the survey implemented with farmers in Estonia; check the Research document available on the button below.


Research involves analysis of the current practices and policies from Ghana, Kenya, Germany, Tanzania, Croatia, and Estonia.

Skip to content