Rural economies across Europe, and associated countries, heavily rely on small ruminant (SR) systems, particularly in areas unsuitable for other alternative agriculture purposes. Despite recent advances in precision livestock farming (PLF) and digital technologies (DT) to improve farm practices, the SR sector shows a slow rate of practitioners’ uptake. There is a need to improve awareness and knowledge transfer on the potential of technology applications and return on investment. Sm@RT aims to improve understanding, awareness and uptake of the different technologies currently available to the SR sector, and further to facilitate ‘solutions to needs’ and identification of technology gaps.
The project will develop a long-term, self-sustainable European/International network to encourage the use of PLF and DT across the SR sector. The network will stimulate knowledge exchange and cross-fertilisation amongst a wide range of stakeholders, including drawing upon the valuable input and knowledge of farmers to farmers, to help increase uptake across the industry.
Sm@RT will focus on the use of PLF and DT across all types of sheep and goat management systems and environments. Sm@RT will use an original interactive transdisciplinary and multi-actor approach, relying on well-equipped demonstration farms (‘digifarms’) and innovative commercial farms to foster exchanges with the SR industry. This iterative step-by-step approach implicates relevant actors at the right level in the knowledge exchange process, thus boosting dissemination in a trusting environment and creating a dynamic to motivate IT companies to propose suitable PLF and DT solutions for the SR sector. Sharing of experiences across both local and transnational levels will create wider opportunities to collect and exchange knowledge, thus enabling Sm@RT to communicate and disseminate information and guidelines widely, increasing efficiency and sustainability of SR farming in Europe and beyond.
Field of science
- /social sciences/economics and business/economics/sustainable economy
- /agricultural sciences/animal and dairy science
- H2020-EU.126.96.36.199. - Increasing production efficiency and coping with climate change, while ensuring sustainability and resilience
- H2020-EU.188.8.131.52. - Empowerment of rural areas, support to policies and rural innovation
- H2020-EU.184.108.40.206. - A sustainable and competitive agri-food industry
- H2020-EU.220.127.116.11. - Fostering the bio-economy for bio-based industries
- H2020-EU.18.104.22.168. - Sustainable forestry
- H2020-EU.22.214.171.124. - Providing ecosystems services and public goods
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCSA - Coordination and support action