Category: agriculture

Students from the Higher School of Agribusiness and Regional Development from the Veliko Tarnovo Branch became members of the AGROSILVER project

Students from the Higher School of Agribusiness and Regional Development from the Veliko Tarnovo Branch became members of the project No 2020-1-FR01-KA202-080028, “Integrating silver knowledge from Аgroecology into the VET system”, under the Erasmus + program. The project offers a new approach to the development of professionals in the agricultural sector. The selected students had combines their studies and had developed their own business in the ecological agricultural sector. The project aim is to develop innovative content and training tools. The Bulgarian experts of the project interviewed Valentina Petrova, who is engaged in beekeeping, fruit grower Ivan Atanaschev, owner of a meat processing plant Pavlin Petrov and tenant Martin Ivanov. The entrepreneurs shared the difficulties they had faced in their work and had explained about the problems in the field of ecological agriculture.The project platform will allow stakeholders to enrich their knowledge and improve pedagogical tools and instruments for education in ecological agriculture sector.

MONGABAY: “From traditional practice to top climate solution, agroecology gets growing attention”

Here you can read an interesting article from MONGABAY by Anna Lappé about agroecology and the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

ZME SCIENCE “Our globalized diets are hurting biodiversity and our health”

Here we can see an interesting article by Fermin Koop published on ZME Science about the impact of our globalized diets on our health and how can it affect to the biodivertity.

You can read it here:

ERASMUS + KA2 Cooperation partnerships in vocational education and training INPACT PROJECT – Integrated Plant protection as an answer for climate change.

The effects of climate change on horticultural production in many cases require urgent interventions, modification of cultivation techniques and the implementation of novel practices at a time when the ongoing SARS-CoV 2 epidemic has seriously disrupted in-person trainings of farmers and agricultural technical advisors. The Erasmus + project INPACT aims to address this problem by providing readily accessible digitalized training material (including videos, factsheets, infographics) on new techniques and undocumented current best practices in environmentally-friendly integrated plant protection on an international data platform. The allied blog and forum will allow rapid exchange and dissemination, and will encourage knowledge-sharing between experts, farmers and VET providers.

The project is coordinated by the Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) and is a joint Czech-Bulgarian-Greek-Hungarian and Polish initiative. AgroSilver Value partner the Department of Sustainable Agriculture, CIHEAM_MAICh is leading the collection of best practices for the project and the dissemination activities. The project kick-off meeting will be held next week (28 th Feb/1 st March, 2022), hosted by CULS in Prague.

The Interreg-ADRION ECOVINEGOALS project: Supporting the agroecological transition of viticulture in the Adriatic-Ionian region

ECOVINEGOALS promotes sustainability and resilience in the winemaking industry by encouraging the transition of intensive viticulture towards agroecological management systems that protect natural habitats and landscapes, reduce chemical and fossil fuel inputs and minimize harmful emissions. The project also aims to enhance stakeholder skills in participatory local governance, to strengthen transnational cooperation and provide specific transnational instruments to promote, support and manage the agroecological transition. Together, the project actions will address environmental vulnerability, promote the provision of ecosystem services, act to prevent social conflicts in land use and mitigate climate change.

Currently the project consortium is working with local viticulture stakeholders in each of the eight project pilot areas (1 in Croatia, 2 in Greece, 2 in Italy, 1 in Montenegro, 1 in Serbia, and 1 in Slovenia) to implement a participatory process that will result in the formulatio  of multi-actor action plans specific to each area to encourage the widest possible participation and support in agroecological initiatives in viticulture and the sustainable development of each rural area. A series of three workshops is being held in each pilot area in which viticulturalists, agricultural advisors, representatives of local agricultural research institutes and organic agriculture certification bodies, local development agencies, local authorities, the ministry of agriculture and associated commercial and tourism bodies, work together to identify key problems, envision an idealised scenario for the future devlopment of agroecology-based viticulture in the area and how this cultivation could benefit related sectors with initiatives in Wine- and Gastrotourism, the creation of additional employment opportunities and greater access to safe natural areas for local inhabitants. The final stage of the procedure entails the production of local action plans that defines, plans and costs the key actions to be implemented in each area to activate the transition process.

In the context of AgroSilver Value project the Department of Sustainable Agriculture, CIHEAM_MAICh has produced a video describing the agroecolgical viticulture practices employed by the ECOVINEGOALS stakeholder NOSTOS (Manousakis family) winery at Vatolakkos, Chania, Greece.

The objetive of Agrosilver

Project objective is to improve the training attractiveness of the agroecology VET, providing teachers with tools with capacity to attract farmers to higher levels of education, and also recover silver knowledge which can be otherwise lost.

One of the main tools of the project is the video processing software allowing the users to process training videos, creating new learning contents, reviewing existing contents, and using the resulting videos for teaching.

Another tool, the data platform is integrated by hundreds of videos recording practices of silver farmers and teachers about agroecology. Hours of videos, with explanations of work-based practices, provided by experienced actors, which have both high quality information and very attractive format. The videos will include talking of the farmer/teacher, mixed with on-field explanations of specific practices or methods.

The big difference of this data base, and other huge unmanageable databases, is the processing software. The software transfer all the talking information of the videos into text, which will be stored and indexed to every video. The information, both video and text, will be stored in a video mine which will be exploited through the SilverKnows software.

Teachers will ask SilverKnows about specific training contents, and SilverKnows will provide reports with text content and related video contents, which can be integrated in the training. Moreover, specific searches can be done to verify data in existing training content, or to create feedback on existing teaching practices (to be explained later).

Video learning has been placed as the primary form of learning in most organizations. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the process, making it essential that learning be accessed anywhere at any time on any device.

European Commission: Farming practices good for the environment and the farmer’s pocket

“EU-backed researchers studied different ecological management practices on Scottish livestock farms. They found that adopting ecological practices could help increase farm profits by up to 7 %”. You can read the article here:

European Commission: Many agroecological futures are possible in Europe

Interesting article by European Commission (CORDIS) about a new research that demonstrates “how sustainable farming not only benefits the environment but also empowers farmers and rural communities”. You can read it here:

The Ecologist: Agroecology can be our new food system

Here you can read an interesting press article about Agroecology published by The The article reflects on the need to change the intensive and industrialised production model towards a more environmentally sustainable agriculture. Its author, Astrud Lea Beringer, calls for the involvement of society to achieve it.