All posts by gregd

Making Flemish agriculture more resilient to drought

For two summers in a row, Flanders had to deal with a very long dry season. The total shortage of precipitation is estimated as the equivalent of almost 1000 liters.
In the short term, the agricultural organizations are mainly concerned with recognizing the drought as an agricultural disaster, but they are already thinking about better armoring Flemish agriculture and horticulture against new periods of drought. These, together with other extreme weather phenomena, will inevitably occur as a result of climate change. Efficient agriculture must therefore focus more on effective water management.

Given the location, the desalination of seawater immediately catches the eye. “The North Sea is in our backyard, so during the initial consultation with the governor we suggested the idea of using seawater desalination projects.” A faster result can be expected from Aquafin’s offer to use purified waste water for the irrigation of fields. “We welcome this,” according to Algemeen Boeren Syndicaat, “on condition that the basic quality is guaranteed.”

The farmers’ syndicate also points to the substantial investments that the sector has already made in collecting rainwater and reusing process water. For example, rinsing water from milking installations is reused as drinking water for cattle. For the first wash of vegetables, the same water can be used several times and irrigation systems become particularly innovative, which is first noticeable on floriculture businesses.

A modern agriculture with apps and internet, use of drones, GIS and precision farming are key elements in this regard. And these are the core of the SEED project.

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Research on VET courses related to digital farming published

SEED project partners have undertaken a national review of existing qualifications and VET courses relevant to digital farming domains in the four partner countries, Slovakia, Italy, Spain and Belgium. This has been completed in order to examine gaps and needs. This data has been analysed and is now visualised in the form of a set of infographics.

Further details about the 247 courses will be published later in the project

First expert review meeting in Nitra, Slovakia

The SEED project seeks to develop and validate a joint vocational qualification on digital farming. The partners presented their initial research results examining the existing situation in different countries, trends in the field and the importance of training actions.

A peer review exercise followed with leading experts from Belgium, Slovakia, Italy and Spain exploring fields related to digital transformation in rural activities. This review dealt with digital knowledge in professional profiles, strategic thinking for value added approaches to digital innovation and the challenge of entrepreneurial actions in decision-making processes.

SEED Project Introduction Peer Review Event from Karl Donert

A presentation in May 2019 at the University of Agriculture Nitra Slovakia as part of the first expert peer-review event held as part of the KA3 Erasmus Plus SEED Project. This presentation introduced the project and the research findings on digital farming, related qualifications and competences. It presents the peer review methodology.

SEED Project kickoff meeting

All  the SEED Project partners gathered at Umbraflor in the Umbria Region  on 28-30 October 2018 to kickoff the new Key Action 3 VET (vocational education) Forward Looking project funded by the European Commission.

The project partners dealt with many different aspects of the project, especally considering the issues concerning the digital transformation of the rural economy.

A presentation concerning green development solutions was made by Fulvio Ananasso, President of Stati Generali dell’Innovazione, an associated partner to the project.

The SEED project aims to i) increase the employability of young people, by supporting the development of a highly skilled, qualified and mobile workforce, also thanks to transnational placement; ii) support the development of a joint VET qualification at the EU level; and iii) promote work-based learning, supported by a mobility component.

Each of the project outcomes was examined and action plans developed, including work placements and international mobility supported by the grant.