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Katalin Réthy joins the PLUS Change project to represent small scale farmers, seed savers, and agroecology activists/researchers.

I am an agroecology professional and small scale farmer. I live and work in Hungary, in the village of Páty, which is in the suburban region of the capital Budapest.  I run a small market garden called Szezon Kert, where we grow vegetables, herbs and edible flowers for restaurants and local markets with a team of young women. I am actively involved in advocating for agricultural diversity: we work with a high variety of plants, local and international heirlooms and modern organic varieties, and are active seed savers. My special field of interest is legumes.  

I am the president of Magház Association, the Community Network for the Diversity of Agriculture. Besides agricultural diversity, we are currently working on a H2020 project developing a healing garden in a psychiatric hospital. I am also one of the founders of the Hungarian Agroecology Network Association. I have lead research of mapping the state of agroecology in Hungary in several research projects.  

What community or organisation are you representing in the project?

  1. The community of Szezon kert, our vegetable farm- a team of 5 part time workers and around 10 volunteers, mostly young women from Budapest 
  1. The 15 core members of Magház are seed savers, self- sufficient and market farmers and we also have a supporting network of 200 people.  
  1. Members of the Hungarian Agroecology Network are farmers, researchers and activist, we have around 20 active members at the moment.  

What motivated you to apply to become an ambassador?

The call for ambassadors has raised my interest, because land use is an important topic for the groups in the associations I work for: namely small scale, agroecological farmers and seed savers. I am happy to learn more about this topic and become more involved in advocating for positive change! 

How does your work correspond with PLUS Change?

 The Agroecology Network is currently involved in a cooperation aimed at gaining official recognition for agroecological land use systems and our healing garden project also raises interesting questions about land-use in a hospital.  I am interested to learn about the case studies, but also relevant theories on land use – as this topic is is not something I have previously worked with.   

What are you looking forward to in the coming years?

 New knowledge and insights into a field I am not familiar with, international networking opportunities and channeling this to my communities.