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PRO AKIS: mapping information sources for European farmers

Farming at Invergowrie © James Hutton Institute
We have identified the organisations that create, transfer and disseminate knowledge relating to agriculture, including universities and research institutes, agricultural colleges and advisory organisations.

Policy makers across Europe will get a helping hand to identify ways to reach farmers with new information and rethink advisory services, thanks to a project which is mapping the many different information sources available to farmers.

The PRO AKIS project –‘Prospects for Farmers’ Support: Advisory Services in the European Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems’ – is a 30 month, EU FP7 funded initiative undertaken by a consortium of partners from seven European organisations, including the James Hutton Institute in the UK. Its objective is to look at how, and from what sources, farmers can get reliable and relevant knowledge, as well as orientation and support, in order to continuously evolve, successfully solve problems, and respond to external expectations and development opportunities.

The project is halfway through its work, having completed an inventory of information and advisory services in the 27 EU countries.

Dr Katrin Prager, project co-ordinator at the James Hutton Institute who is responsible for UK and Ireland data, said: "We have identified the organisations that create, transfer and disseminate knowledge relating to agriculture, including universities and research institutes, agricultural colleges and advisory organisations.

"The 27 country inventories have been presented at three regional workshops across Europe. Now stakeholders from ministries, advisory organisations and farmers’ organisations are commenting on their country’s information systems and learning how other countries structure and run their advisory services. I would like to thank all of the participants and board members for their inputs and suggestions so far."

The first regional workshop took place in Copenhagen to deliver early findings and country reports to Northern EU countries; while the second workshop, held in Paris, highlighted findings for Southern EU countries. The third event took place in Krakow and looked at findings for Central EU countries.

Michael Kuegler, head of the German Chambers of Agriculture and the European Forum of Rural Advisor Services (EUFRAS) Brussels office, commented: “As a member of the PRO AKIS expert board, EUFRAS is continuously looking to optimise learning processes for the whole rural community. We are very pleased about the PRO AKIS mapping efforts in Europe, as it helps us to identify and reduce bottlenecks and how to realise cross-border learning of rural advisors.”

Besides the James Hutton Institute, the PRO AKIS partners include the University of Hohenheim (Germany), the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (Germany), the National Institute for Agricultural Research (France), University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro (Portugal), the University of Agriculture in Krakow (Poland), Agricultural University Plovdiv (Bulgaria), and the Knowledge Centre for Agriculture (Denmark) .

For more information on the project including case studies and forthcoming country reports, visit the project website.

Notes to editors:

About the PRO AKIS project: Farmers throughout Europe are facing changing political conditions and a strong pressure from markets and citizens to adjust and to innovate. They need timely access to knowledge and information, to training and education and to facilitating and support services. PRO AKIS is a European research and action project that investigates agricultural advisory services within the context of Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS). The project aims to answer the question: How and from what sources can farmers get reliable and relevant knowledge, orientation and support to continuously evolve, to successfully solve problems and to respond to external expectations and development opportunities? For more information see the project website.

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Printed from /news/pro-akis-mapping-information-sources-european-farmers on 04/12/23 10:14:56 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.