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Developing EU advisory networks on the optimal fertiliser use

 

Proposals should address the following activities:

  • Connect advisors possessing a broad and extensive network of farmers across all EU Member States in an EU advisory network dedicated to the reduction of nutrient losses and optimal use of fertilisers, including bio-based fertilisers and farming techniques which support a sustainable nutrient management, including carbon farming, with a view to sharing experiences on how to best tackle the issues, building on the outcomes of the related EIP-AGRI focus groups and workshops as well as the Horizon 2020 projects and thematic networks.
  • Share among the EU advisory network effective and novel approaches to the reduction of nutrient losses and the use of fertilisers, which are sustainable in terms of economic, environmental and social aspects.
  • Fill gaps on emerging advisory topics beyond the classical sectoral advice, which is useful in particular in relation with the new obligation for Member States to integrate advisors within their AKIS and their obligation to cover a much broader scope than in the past.
  • Provide overall support related to knowledge creation, organisation and sharing.
  • Take strong account of cost-benefit elements. Collect and document good examples in this regard, connecting with farmers, intermediates and consumers in Member States to be able to take into account financial aspects and local conditions. Select the best practices, learn about the key success factors, possible quick wins and make them available for (local) exploitation, to ensure financial win-wins for producers, citizens and intermediate actors.
  • Integrate the advisors within the EU network on the reduction of nutrient losses and the use of fertilisers into their MS AKIS as much as possible. As innovation brokers they should encourage innovative projects on low-input sustainable farming systems in EIP Operational Groups. They should give hands-on training to farmers and local advisors, lead national thematic and learning networks on the subject, deliver and implement action plans to make farming activities more efficient, reduce farmers’ yield losses, inspire new and incoming farmers or farms at the cross-roads of intergenerational renewal, connect with education and ensure broad communication, support peer-to-peer consulting, develop on-farm demonstrations and demo films distributed widely via social media, and provide specific back-office support for generalist advisors within the national/regional AKIS.
  • Explore if the activities of the EU advisory network on the reduction of nutrient losses and use of fertilisers can be scaled up at the level of a number of Member States under a cooperative format. Wherever possible, develop digital advisory tools for common use across the EU. Determine whether common tools can be created to incentivise the implementation of the learnings from this project.
  • Include all 27 EU Member States in the EU advisory network, using local AKIS connections which can more accurately interpret the national/regional contexts to help develop the best solutions for that Member State or region. Use the support of the Member States’ knowledge and innovation experts of the SCAR-AKIS Strategic Working Group to discuss project strategy and progress in the various stages of the 2 projects.
  • Projects should run at least 5 years. They must implement the multi-actor approach, with a majority of partners being farming advisors with solid field experience.
  • Provide all outcomes and materials to the European Innovation Partnership 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability' (EIP-AGRI), including in the common 'practice abstract' format for EU wide dissemination, as well as to national/regional/local AKIS channels and to the EU-wide interactive knowledge reservoir (HORIZON-CL6-2021-GOVERNANCE-01-24) in the requested formats.

Proposals must implement the multi-actor approach, with a majority of partners being farming advisors active in fertiliser use and with frequent field expertise. Proposals should capitalise and build on the outputs of relevant EIP-AGRI Operational Groups, EIP-AGRI Focus Groups and EIP-AGRI networking activities, as well as those of the Horizon 2020 Thematic Networks related to the reduction of nutrient losses and the use of fertilisers. Proposals should also build on the results of past/ongoing research projects and thematic networks.