News: AgriLink2020 participates in EIP-AGRI ‘Small is Smart’ Workshop
Project team members from Highclere Consulting (Romania) and the James Hutton Institute (UK) actively participated in the 2-day workshop which brought together farmers, farmers’ organisations, researchers, advisers, SMEs, start-ups and many others involved in projects with small farms and forestry holdings from across Europe.
The overall aim of the workshop was to promote networking among people and projects dealing with innovation and adoption of new technologies in small farm and forestry holdings. Of key interest to the AgriLink2020 project was the opportunity to understand the innovation support environment for small farms and forestry holdings at local, national and European level.
The workshop opened with a presentation from Inge Van Oost, policy officer at the European Commission (DG AGRI), that stressed the growing importance of a regional / national innovation ecosystem. This was complemented by observations from Leanne Townsend of the James Hutton Institute on how can small farms benefit from digital innovations, including specific reference to the AgriLink project.
During one of the ensuing varied and interactive break-out groups, participants reflected on methods available to small farmers to access support and advice – as well as for advisers and support organisations to target small farmers. It was keenly observed that enhancing knowledge flows between AKIS players is essential to close the gap between research and practice, but according to many of the small farmers present there is still much work needed to make this a reality.