• Unit of Agricultural Sciences

  • Unit of Engineering Sciences

  • unit of food and veterinary medicine sciences

  • Unit of forestry sciences

  • Unit of Agrarian Economics sciences

Units ENG



Head of the Unit:
Prof., Dr. sc.ing. Leonards Līpiņš
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Forestry is one of the leading branches of the Latvian economy, based on local timber resources, promoting employment of the local rural population and the stability of the Latvian Lats because of the substantial specific amount of forestry products within the Latvian exports. Therefore research in forestry science and in field of complex use of timber are among the research topics to be supported, though have never received funding proportional to the specific weight of the branch.

The greatest contribution into the development of scientific and intellectual potential of the branch was provided by the Latvian State Forestry Science Institute „Silava”, „Institute of Wood Chemistry”, Faculty of Forestry of LAU and “Institute of Forest and Wood Product Research and Development” also attracting experts from other higher education institutions.

This chapter includes a summary on the research topics in research of which the full members of the LAAFS Unit of Forestry Sciences have acted as heads of projects or participated in research. Although every institution has its own historically formed thematic specialisation, complex state research programmes are of the highest value as these provide an opportunity to consolidate the scholarly potential and organise closer collaboration.

From the perspective of practical applicability involvement of production companies of the branch, such as JSC „Latvijas valsts meži”, „Latvijas Finieris” and others are of great importance, with these bringing up study topics and providing financial support for research.

With a view to future there are prospects of wider involvement of scientists in international programmes and the expected opening of the Forestry Branch Competency Centre that would open up the opportunities for attraction of the EU funding along with that from the leading companies of the branch for the development of research of importance for forestry.



Head of the Unit:
Prof., Dr. sc.ing. Kaspars Vārtukapteinis
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The Unit of Engineering Sciences involves staff of the Technical Faculty and the Faculty of Field Engineering of the Latvia University of Agriculture (hereinafter – LAU), along with the scientists of the LAU agencies the Research Institute of Agricultural Machinery and the Research Institute of Water and Soil (existed until 30 June 2011). The Unit has been focusing on scientific, academic and technical engineering aspects of the engineering sciences. Within the last decade the Unit has performed an evaluation of the following issues: situation and prospects of local engineering industry; situation of biodiesel fuel production and use; prospects of development of engineering science laboratories; situation in the branch of small water power stations from the perspective of environment and property rights; problems and solutions in the field of preservation of historical values of agriculture and technology; digitisation solutions of melioration cadastre. Also the perspective development of engineering science study programmes was evaluated focusing on their academic provisions and technical supply.

A wider field of study within the Unit is power industry, in which study has been conducted in several directions. One of the most pursued of these directions is that of the renewable power sources, their procurement and use. Research is performed within the framework of one ESF and four ERDF projects. In several ERDF projects scientists of the Unit participate as co-operation partners together with other scientific institutions. A fundamental and long-term field of study within the framework of international co-operation is research of point and disperse contamination of surface and underground water caused by agricultural activity.

Within the framework of study projects funded by the Latvian Council of Science the research in the fields of bio-fuel and biological mass technology is continued; sustainable management of water handling systems; use of renewable energy sources for combined heating and development of energy saving technologies, in order to increase the power efficiency of agriculture; adequacy of crop-cultivation technology and development of efficient usage methods and functional models for both conventional and ecological agriculture; research and development of technological systems for the future dairy farms.



Head of the Unit:
Dr. biol. Jānis Mičulis
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The Latvian companies of agriculture and food sector, after Latvia joined the Europan Union, need to ensure and improve their level of quality in response to the ever-increasing consumer demand, competition, strict requirements of environment and animal welfare, continuing rise of prices of energy and other resources. At the same time it is necessary to reduce production costs and increase production efficiency. Such conditions create demand for scientific research that would provide advice and recommendations both for companies and state officials, and also for professional organisations for ensuring and improving quality.

The following members of the LAAFS actively engaged in the research work aimed at solution of the stated problems: prof. A. Jemeļjanovs, prof. E. Birģele, prof. P. Rivža, prof. D. Kārkliņa, prof. I. Ciproviča, et. al.

It is clear that high quality, safe and healthy raw foodstuffs of animal origin can only be produced from healthy animals, therefore the successful co-operation of the members of LAAFS and scientists from LAU SI „Sigra” and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of LAU in research of non-communicable animal illnesses must be mentioned.

The full members of LAAFS have promoted research in food science in several directions related to development of new, healthier products and their technologies and study of food safety conditions. A completely new direction in food research was developed by the honorary doctor of LAAFS Professor Dr. hab. ing. sc. L. Dukaļska who has focused on issues of food packaging and storage, and as the result of her activity, using ERDF funding, a research laboratory dealing with problems of foodstuff packaging was founded. The results have been reported at international congresses and conferences in Korea, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Lithuania, Portugal, France, Canada, and other countries, as well as in conferences in Latvia and the II and III World Congress of Latvian Scientists. The issue of education of scientific staff with the highest scientific qualifications in the branch of food research has become one of the most important over the last decade, and also members of the Unit took part in searching the solutions. Under their supervision more than 10 doctoral theses dealing with important aspects of food research have been defended within the recent decade. The members of Unit actively collaborate with producers and professional associations such as Latvia Central Union of Dairy Farmers, Bakers Association, Packaging Association of Latvia, The Latvian Federation of Food Enterprises, taking part in improving the qualification of food production industry workers and becoming involved in solution of important problems of production. The Unit of Food and Veterinary Medicine Science of LAAFS is one of the largest units of the LAAFS and it is still growing admitting 1-2 new members annually. There are grounds to believe that the importance of the Unit’s work will continue to grow, as the interest of society concerning increase of high quality, safe and healthy food in the total consumption is still growing.



Head of the Unit:
Prof., Dr. oec. Irina Pilvere
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Among the first 48 academic members of the Latvian Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (hereinafter – LAAFS) were 9 representatives of the agrarian economics: Artūrs Boruks, Inesis Feiferis, Harijs Kanaviņš, Vulfs Kozlinskis, Meikuls Locmers, Pēteris Rivža, Voldemārs Strīķis, Aleksandrs Vedļa.

The Unit of Agrarian Economics was founded in 1994. Currently there are 22 full members, 6 honorary members and 4 foreign members.

During its first years of operation the Unit focused mainly on study of specific issues of agrarian policy. In co-operation with the experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and German scientists five seminars were held on the five most urgent topics: agrarian policy, agrarian information, agrarian market, development of the rural territories, co-operation in agriculture. There were conclusions drawn and proposals developed that along with other materials from these seminars were of future use for development of complex programmes of agriculture and development of rural territories.

In 1994 representatives of the Unit along with other members of the LAAFS Presidium developed the project „The Main Strategic Aims and the Most Important Complex Scientific Problems for Rural Territories”. A concept for the development of the rural territories and the Law on Agriculture were developed.

Much attention was paid to provision of the scientific instruments for development or rural regions.

In 1997 the agrarian scientists initiated a complex scholarly project „The Scientific Basis for the Development of Agriculture in Latvia” (scientific co-ordinator V. Strīķis). The Project was completed in 2001 with a scientific monograph „The Scientific Basis of Agriculture in Latvia” (scientific editors and compilers V. Strīķis and K. Špoģis).

In the following years there were several projects developed, the implementation of which was led by representatives of the Unit of the Agrarian Economics of LAAFS, e.g. collaborative project „Risk Factors, Their Evaluation and Risk Management in the Latvian Agriculture” (sc. head P. Rivža), the project „Diversification of the Latvian Agriculture During Integration into the European Union” (sc. heads V. Strīķis and K. Špoģis), as well as other projects.

Every year international conferences and seminars are held. Members of the Unit are especially active in conducting lectures and acting as supervisors of doctoral students.
In 2010 the ESF project „Attraction of Human Resources to the Research of Renewable Energy Sources” (sc. head P. Rivža, researchers – members of the Unit A. Kalniņš and V. Strīķis, etc.).

The year 2011 was started with a scientific discussion on the development of the EU Common Agricultural Policy after the year 2013. Activities in this field are still in progress.
Members of the Unit of the Agrarian Economics of the LAAFS take active part in diverse organisational and scientific activities corresponding with the current issues in national economy.



Head of the Unit:
Prof., Dr. agr. Dainis Lapiņš
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The Unit’s of Agricultural Sciences of Latvian Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (hereinafter – LAAFS) activities are usually realised in interaction with activities of Faculty of Agriculture of Latvia University of Agriculture (hereinafter – LAU) and its Institute of Soil and Plant Science and Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology. There are three sub-fields of agricultural science, namely those of crop-cultivation, horticulture and cattle-breeding. Research on animal husbandry is developed in cooperation with Institute of the Agricultural Biotechnology of the LAU and the LAU study and research farm „Vecauce”, since the latter one serves as a research base, along with specialised laboratories in the LAU Faculty of Agriculture. Research on subbranches of crop-cultivation is developed at the Institute of Soil and Plant Science, Department of Crop Farming of the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology; similar work is also performed at the State Stende Cereal Breeding Institute and the State Priekuļi Plant Breeding Institute, LAU Scientific Institute of Agriculture, Latvian Research Centre of Plant Protection and also Latgale Agricultural Science Centre. Resarch of horticulture is developed at the Department of Horticulture of the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Latvia State Institute of Fruit-Growing and Pūre Horticultural Research Centre.

There are also number of other activities realised by the Unit. E.g., the Unit of Agricultural Sciences of LAAFS, in collaboration of the afore-mentioned research institutes and LAU participates in organisation of field days that take place every summer. Besides, the Unit organises contests of future scientists - doctoral students, providing diplomas to the winners. Annually a season closing Harvest Festival is held at „Vecauce” with publishing of selected articles from annual scientific seminar, as well as awarding the LAAFS and Latvia Agriculture Scientific Institutions Council of Directors prize. The field experiment expositions are organised annually in collaboration with the Council of Directors of Latvian Agricultural Scientific Institutions (Chairman of the board Ģ. Siliņš) since 1993. Successful work and change of generations of scientific institutions and research centres is provided by funds attracted with EU projects, as well collaboration with the international organisations and Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Latvia.