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Demonstration network on climate-smart farming – boosting the role of advisory services

A wide adoption of practices contributing to mitigation of climate change and carbon storage by farmers is a priority to ensure that the EU reaches GHG mitigation objectives by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. Farming is also vulnerable to impacts of climate change; hence adaptation is of utmost importance. Mainstreaming the use of climate-smart practices has been recognised as a priority at the global level, including at the G-20. In particular, the engagement of farmers in this effort needs to be increased. Therefore, a strong involvement of Member States’ AKIS is needed, as well as the development of targeted advice to farmers on climate issues.

The aim is to establish a three level network in a phased manner over Cluster 6 work programmes 2021/2022 and 2023/2024. The first level is a network which will engage front-runner farmers introducing on-farm trials and demonstration of innovations, using existing knowledge. The second level is a network to connect all advisors on the subject in the Member States, building on achievements of Horizon 2020 projects and EIP-AGRI operational groups and the development of Member States’ AKIS, to ensure the provision of targeted advice. The third level of the network will engage and strengthen the capacity of experimental research stations on climate issues.

The present topic deals with the advisory level. Learning from experiences on “real” farms led by sustainability-oriented farmers eager to pilot existing or new practice-ready techniques, this level will aim at enhancing up advisors’ competences by sharing widely climate neutral ready-for-practice solutions across the EU. This requires interaction between collaborative innovation ecosystems and will involve the main AKIS actors and AKIS coordination bodies in each Member State.

Proposals should:

  • Use advisors to spread solutions from practice oriented on-farm testing and demonstration in project work programme HORIZON-CL6-2021-CLIMATE-01-04 “Demonstration network on climate-smart farming – linking pilot farms” and help develop new solutions through taking part in practice-oriented innovation projects such as EIP Operational Groups;
  • Collect and provide tool-kits for GHG balances at farm level, performance monitoring, decision tools, climate services, etc. for possible use by a wide range of farms;
  • Support the implementation of the EU carbon farming manual as foreseen in the farm to fork strategy and the implementation of the third party certification of carbon removals, as foreseen in the circular economy action plan;
  • Foster knowledge exchange within Member States and regions and establish links with the EIP-AGRI and AKIS networks and AKIS coordination bodies of Member States and Associated Countries;
  • Link advisors in an EU climate-smart farming network including advisors in all Member States to stimulate effective cross-fertilisation among Member State advisors. Include a sufficient number of various types of advisor per country, taking into account the size of the Member State and ensuring a broad EU coverage;
  • Proposals should include a task to collaborate with other projects involved in the network HORIZON-CL6-2021-CLIMATE-01-04 “Demonstration network on climate-smart farming – linking pilot farms” and a topic to be published in Cluster 6 work programme 2023/2024);
  • The project should operate for at least seven years and build on climate-related projects from various funding sources. The project must implement the multi-actor approach and may involve social innovation.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.