In support of the European Green Deal, organic action plan, the common agricultural policy (CAP), farm to fork and biodiversity strategies, and the sustainable carbon cycles communication’s objectives and targets, the successful proposal will focus on advisor exchanges across the EU in order to increase the speed of knowledge creation and sharing, capacity building, demonstration of innovative solutions, as well as helping to bring them into practice, which accelerates the necessary transitions. Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS), in which advisors play a central role, are key drivers to speed up innovation and the uptake of research results by farmers.
Transformative changes such as the changes required within the European Green Deal are dynamic processes that require appropriate governance of AKIS actors. Advisors are key actors with a role in providing strong guidance and with a big influence on producers’ decisions. A novelty in the post-2020 CAP plans is that advisors must now be integrated within the Member States’ AKIS, and that the scope of their actions has become much broader. They must be able to cover economic, environmental and social domains, as well as be up-to-date on science and innovation. They should be able to translate this knowledge into opportunities, and use and adapt this knowledge to specific local circumstances. This specific topic focuses on the important role that advisors can play in relation to boosting sustainable livestock systems in the future.
Project results are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:
- Progress towards the most urgent policy objectives linked to Cluster 6, as well as the European Green Deal, and in particular the new CAP, with a view to improving the sustainability of livestock management, helping to raise awareness and tackle societal challenges related to sustainable livestock systems, including climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- Support to the CAP cross-cutting objective of modernising the sector by fostering and sharing knowledge, innovation and digitalisation in agriculture and rural areas, and encouraging their uptake;
- Development of interaction with regional policymakers and of a potential EU network to discuss institutional challenges to practical sustainable livestock production systems issues, such as bottlenecks, lock-ins, political inertia, ambiguous regulations, inequality between Member States and power imbalances;
- Production of supporting services and materials, including knowledge networks and peer-to-peer counselling, master classes, advice modules, communication and education materials, effective business models, etc. to facilitate the upscaling of sustainable livestock systems;
- Acceleration of the introduction, spread and implementation in practice of innovative solutions related to sustainable livestock systems, in particular by:
- creating added value by better linking research, education, advisors and farming practice, and encouraging the wider use of available knowledge across the EU;
- learning from innovation actors and projects, resulting in faster sharing and implementation of ready-to-use innovative solutions, spreading them to practitioners and communicating to the scientific community the bottom-up research needs of practice.
Proposals should address the following activities:
- Connect advisors possessing a broad and extensive network of farmers across all EU Member States in an EU advisory network dedicated to sustainable livestock systems, including farming techniques which support sustainable animal production, with a view to sharing experiences on how to best tackle the issues, building on the outcomes of the EIP-AGRI Focus Groups and Workshops as well as the Horizon 2020 Thematic Networks related to sustainable livestock systems.
- Share effective and novel approaches among the EU advisory network on livestock systems, which are climate-friendly and sustainable in terms of economic, environmental and social aspects.
- Fill gaps on emerging advisory topics beyond the classical sectoral advice, which is useful in particular in relation with the new obligation for Member States to integrate advisors within their AKIS and who must cover a much broader scope than in the past.
- Provide overall support related to knowledge creation, organisation and sharing.
- Take strong account of cost-benefit elements. Collect and document good examples in this regard, connecting with farmers, intermediates and consumers in Member States to be able to take into account financial aspects and local conditions. Select the best practices, learn about the key success factors, possible quick wins and make them available for (local) exploitation, to ensure financial win-wins for producers, citizens and intermediate actors.
- Integrate the advisors of the EU sustainable livestock systems network into their MS AKIS as much as possible. As innovation brokers they should encourage innovative projects on organic farming in EIP Operational Groups. They should give hands-on training to farmers and local advisors, lead national thematic and learning networks on the subject, deliver and implement action plans to make livestock systems more sustainable, climate-friendly, and inspire new and incoming farmers or farms at the cross-roads of intergenerational renewal, connect with education and ensure broad communication, support peer-to-peer consulting, develop on-farm demonstrations and demo films distributed widely via social media, and provide specific back-office support for generalist advisors within the national/regional AKIS.
- Explore if the activities of the EU advisory network on sustainable livestock systems can be up scaled at the level of a number of Member States under a cooperative format. Wherever possible, develop digital advisory tools for common use across the EU. Determine whether common tools can be created to incentivise the implementation of the learnings from this project.
- Include all 27 EU Member States in the EU advisory network, using local AKIS connections which can more accurately interpret the national/regional contexts to help develop the best solutions for that Member State or region. Use the support of the Member States’ knowledge and innovation experts of the SCAR-AKIS Strategic Working Group to discuss project strategy and progress in the various stages of the 2 projects.
- Projects should run at least 5 years. They must implement the multi-actor approach, with a majority of partners being advisors with frequent field experience.
- Provide all outcomes and materials to the European Innovation Partnership 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' (EIP-AGRI), including in the common 'practice abstract' format for EU wide dissemination, as well as to national/regional/local AKIS channels and to the EU-wide interactive knowledge reservoir (HORIZON-CL6-2021-GOVERNANCE-01-24) in the requested formats.
Art 13(2) of the post 2020 CAP regulation.
Art 5 CAP post 2020 proposal.