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PRO AKIS: a precise picture of information resources available to European farmers

Farming at the James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie (c) James Hutton Institute
This work will be of great use to agricultural and rural policy makers, administrators, agricultural chambers, farmer organisations, advisory organisations, researchers, consultants and stakeholders

European decision makers are able to access a complete panorama of ways to reach farmers with information, orientation and support, thanks to a project which has mapped the many different knowledge sources available to farmers in the European Union (EU). PRO AKIS – ‘Prospects for Farmers’ Support: Advisory Services in the European Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems’ – is a European Commission-funded initiative undertaken by a consortium of partners from seven European institutions, including the James Hutton Institute in the UK.

The project has completed a country-by-country inventory of organisations and individual actors in the field, including basic and applied agricultural research institutes and universities, advisory services, and other actors influencing research priorities and practical decision making on farms, such as cooperatives, supply services, and farmers’ organisations.

Dr Katrin Prager, project co-ordinator at the James Hutton Institute who is responsible for UK and Ireland data, said: “PROAKIS highlights the great diversity of agricultural knowledge resources and advisory systems that exist in Europe. The project improves our understanding of which services are part of the official Farm Advisory System of the Common Agricultural Policy and which other public and private advisory services are operational in the field, an overview which was previously missing.

“The project is contributing to building a European agricultural innovation system and supports better informed policy decisions to improve the functioning of the different components at European, national and regional levels.

“We believe this work will be of great use to agricultural and rural policy makers, administrators, agricultural chambers, farmer organisations, advisory organisations, researchers, consultants and stakeholders in the European Innovation Partnership ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’.”

The inventory consists of a report and a summary poster per country, covering the 27 member states of the EU. Reports follow the same structure to aid comparison between countries. They cover key actors in each country, as well as history, providers, policy, methods, topics and clients of advisory services.

Dr Talis Tisenkopfs, professor at the Department of Sociology of the University of Latvia and PRO AKIS advisory board member, commented: “I am very pleased with the 27 country reports that provide a comprehensive and insightful overview of the specificities of agricultural knowledge and innovation systems in the member states.

“I am sure these reports will be a source of valuable information, innovation aspiration and mutual learning, and underpin new collaborative practices among various actors interested in promoting rural innovations.”

Besides the James Hutton Institute, the project 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 the complete inventory, case studies and country reports, visit the project website at www.proakis.eu.

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 Commission-funded 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's website at www.proakis.eu.

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Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/pro-akis-precise-picture-information-resources-available-european-farmers on 20/11/19 11:15:25 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.