A recent study published by the European Commission, evaluates the impact of the 2014-2020 CAP instruments and measures on the knowledge exchange and advisory activities.
These are supported by Rural Development measures (CAP Pillar 2), offering direct financial support for training or advisory activities, as well as for the innovative projects of EIP-AGRI’s Operational Groups. Further support is given through other CAP instruments such as the EIP-AGRI network, the Farm Advisory System (FAS) and the National/Regional Rural Networks.
The findings show that CAP instruments and measures contribute to Member States’ Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS). Yet AKIS are currently underestimated by authorities and policy-makers. There is no restriction on these topics and content at European level; all themes can potentially be covered by CAP instruments and measures for training, advice and innovation to meet the needs of the target audience.
Some key recommendations highlighted in the study make reference to the following:
- Develop an integrated and comprenhensive vision of the Member States’ AKIS;
- Foster information flow between advisors and farmers and research;
- Maintain training and knowledge support for advisors;
- Build holistic advice based on farmers’ needs;
- Support knowledge exchange, innovation and advisory methods based on new techniques, such as distance learning; and
- Place more emphasis upon reaching the ‘hard to reach’.
Read also our SHERPA’s Anual Conference report and learn about the vision to foster a network of ‘brokers’, helping to connect local people and their needs with those spheres that can provide solutions.