Cross-Exchange Visit : Sharing farming knowledge and tools: the example of the Organic Farm Knowledge online platform

Sharing farming knowledge and tools: the example of the Organic Farm Knowledge online Within the framework of Euraknos,

Within the framework of Euraknos, Organic Farm Knowledge (OFK) is presented as a good example of an existing electronic knowledge reservoir platform (e-KRP). The online meeting provided an opportunity to discuss with the participants how the TN platform can be further developed and improved, based on the results from a user survey.

The survey respondents were mainly organic farmers, researchers, and advisors. To make the platform more useful, it was suggested to add other important themes. Books and reports were classified as the most useful types of tools, before leaflets and guidelines, videos, online courses, practice abstracts, and calculation tools. The most relevant theme was crop production, followed by seeds and breeding, with animal husbandry being less relevant. The language experience was rated good on average. On the other hand, videos in other languages (e.g. German) should at least have English subtitles. Furthermore, the user interface/user experience should be improved. Suggestions to improve the discussion forum include a mobile app, webinars, LinkedIn/exclusive applications, periodic/open meetings, an open forum where people could bring in their own question and would get reliable information from colleagues and experts.

The webinar itself took place on 6 July 2020, with 24 participants. First, the EURAKNOS cross-exchange was introduced and the platform and survey results (see above) were presented before the floor was given to the participants to share their views and reactions. Four different topics were presented:

  • The first topic was “How to improve the user experience & navigation? How should the user interface look?” The suggestion was made to have a hamburger menu (three lines) on the right side (like on the mobile phone), with a search bar on the top, “About” in the foot set, and to move the “Themes” up to the top to avoid having to scroll down.
  • The next discussion topic was “How to improve the discussion forum”. The survey revealed that LinkedIn and Instagram are the favourite social media platforms. It could be useful to invest some time to set up accounts, but LinkedIn is more business oriented, and Instagram is photo based rather than scientific.
  • The third topic focused specifically on the funding model. While national governments could be a funding source, as a European platform, they might refer to the EU. As other potential funders, private foundations were mentioned. Topic-related projects could be asked to pay a fee to have their content on the platform. There are two alternatives/options currently being developed: either the partners are part of EU projects and have budget to work on OFK, or the project pays a fee to OFK to get their content on the platform. All partners participate in international projects.
  • The last topic zoomed in on the channels that should be used to promote the platform. National organic associations (of farmers and advisors) can help to advertise Organic Farm Knowledge and to make it public.

The survey and discussion results will feed into practical recommendations in the form of practice abstracts.

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Cross-Exchange Visit : Best practices for multi-actor approaches and dissemination in Smart Protection

One of the aims of the EURAKNOS is to widen the TN Community and exchange best practices and methodologies of Thematic Networks. These are also summarized in the TNs Explorers’ Guide that will soon be published online.

On July 9, two Thematic Networks, SmartAKIS and SMARTPROTECT, and three other multi-actor projects, OPTIMA, INNOSETA, and IPMWORKS exchanged experiences on multi-actor approaches and dissemination strategies in the field of Smart Protection after an introduction on the EURAKNOS project and presentations of the different invited projects. Two operational groups (OGs), Smart spraying on Olive Trees (Greece), and OG W&W leeks and cabbages 2.0 (Flanders) presented their activities. About 40 participants, including advisors, scientists, managing authorities, and an SME, were engaged in the lively discussion.

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