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Launch of major new EU project to explore digital technologies for farm advisors

European agriculture is facing critical challenges over the coming decades, particularly the sustainability of food production. A five year EU Horizon 2020 funded project was launched in Dublin, Ireland last month with the aim of improving agricultural advisors’ use of digital tools and services to enable better uptake of digital technologies by European farmers.

The FAIRshare project, which is being led by Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, brings together 22 partners from 15 countries across Europe. The project consists of a mix of partners who have different backgrounds and skills working towards a common goal of unlocking the benefits of digitisation for farmers and society. This project will engage, enable and empower the independent farm advisory community, through sharing of tools, expertise and experiences.

Project Coordinator, Professor Tom Kelly from Teagasc said “Electronic data generation, analytics and communication technologies have the potential to enable more accurate, faster and better decision-making on farms. There is a danger that digitisation and future innovations will be hampered unless the rural advisory community is mobilised to take ownership of digital tools and to advocate at the user interface.

The FAIRshare project has two main objectives. Firstly, to develop an open inventory of the digital tools and services in use internationally, which will be available to all advisors. Secondly, to create a ‘living lab’ which empowers advisors from across the EU to engage and interact with the online inventory. The FAIRshare will fund 40 different advisory cases that will enable advisors to address the challenge of embedding digital tools in different advisory and farming contexts across the EU. Special focus will be on co-designing powerful communication and engagement approaches for advisors to advocate and inspire their peers and farmer clients, driving a stronger network for the wider and better use of digital tools.

– I am happy that Ruralis is a partner in this project and we will work to create some spin-off in Norway too. We would like to come in contact with Norwegian suppliers of digital tools, said senior researcher Egil Petter Stræte from Ruralis that participated at the kick-off.

Gruppearbeid kick-off foto EPS

Workshop kick-off Photo Egil Petter Stræte.

Editor Notes:

FAIRshare: Farm Advisory digital Innovation tools Realised and Shared.

Partner countries include: Ireland (lead), Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Switzerland.

Project manager at Ruralis: Karlheinz Knickl

Contact for this news: Egil Petter Stræte

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