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FAIRshare. Farm Advisory digital Innovation tools Realised and Shared

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FAIRshare (FAIRshare. Farm Advisory digital Innovation tools Realised and Shared)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2021-10-31

The overarching aim of FAIRshare is to ensure that farm advisors and their organisations effectively use Digital Advisory Tools and Services (DATS) to support a more productive and sustainable agriculture. As in other sectors, digitalisation within agriculture is a growing trend and farmers are becoming increasingly reliant on data to support their on-farm decision making. However, a digital divide is evident between farmers who use and do not use DATS, and the same can be said for farm advisors. Therefore, the FAIRshare project aims to help bridge this digital divide, primarily, by targeting and supporting farm advisors to engage and implement DATS within their individual contexts. Given their unique role within the Agricultural Knowledge Innovation System (AKIS) and their direct link to farmers on the ground, they are targeted within FAIRshare as being best placed to advocate and support the use of DATS at farm level going forward.

FAIRshare will support this by documenting and creating awareness around the variety of DATS available to farm advisors across Europe and it will support a number of User Cases (UCs) to help farm advisors to practically engage with and implement existing DATS in their own organisations.
WP1 has resulted development of the Permanent Networking Facility (PNF). The PNF hosts the DATS Inventory, which now has over 248 DATS and 169 registered users.The PNF is accessed daily by interested parties including those from inside the consortium and external stakeholders and practitioners.

WP2 focuses on the collection of good practices and to date it has collected 50 good practices. Initial analysis of these 50 good practices resulted in three ‘hot topics’ which formed the basis for the first good practice vignettes.

WP3 focuses on understanding the factors that influence advisors and farmers use of DATS and developments in this WP include: the co-creation and administration of two European wide surveys (one for farmers and one for advisors) and the creation of four regional multi-actor groups to enhance our understanding of the advisory and farmer interface with DATS. These multi actor groups comprised of farmers, advisors and various digital industry actors and were leveraged to identify common "working day” operational challenges to co-design a strategy to increase the uptake of DATS in other regions.

WP4 focuses on the adoption of novel DATS in at least 30 different farm advisory contexts (UCs). An overview of the theories around Change Management and Living Labs was generated 30 UCs have been identified/selected from partners and external entities. T4.3 provides a detailed exploration of early experiences of the UCs with pilot DATS and a new Assessment Tool (T4.4) has been developed to help farm advisors assess the potential of individual DATS.

WP5 develops roadmaps to support the improved use of DATS by the farm advisory community, both at EU and UC level. This is done via a co-creation process, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders. For the vision and roadmap at EU-level, online workshops were held and roadmaps are being developed.

WP6 focuses on the implementation of UCs and has summarised their business Cases (T6.1) in parallel with the planning workshops in WP5 and the Cross Visits (CV) guidelines were developed. Preparation of a training framework is also underway.

WP7 aims to communicate and disseminate, FAIRshare decisions, methodologies, findings, results, and work progress both internally and externally. At the beginning of the project, the project communication focused on drawing attention to the project and now it focuses more on creating interest in FAIRshare among target groups.

WP8 is focused on the overall co-ordination of the FAIRshare project and it continues to implement structures and frameworks to ensure progress within the project. In particular, a large amount of work and time was dedicated to the selection of internal and external UCs (see T8.9 for full details).
WP1: The DATS Inventory and the PNF aims to gather all available DATS available to agricultural advisory services and farmers across Europe. After exceeding the foreseen amount of 200 as set out in the GA, we now have collected 248. However, we aspire to continue to collect more useful DATS and provide the relevant information and supports through the PNF.

WP2: Will enhance the utility of the DATS inventory by providing a range of good practice vignettes, capitalising on good practices in different socio-cultural and farming contexts. These will engage and empower the wider advisory community and their client farmers to use and improve DATS. The final deliverables of WP2 will outline the trends, bottlenecks, barriers and opportunities for application of good practices.

WP3: Created and analysed two surveys, one for farmers and one for advisors, and have extracted the main findings from these. This work package has also identified the main barriers for adoption of DATS via multi actor focus groups and workshops and using these,has also provided some solutions to overcome the identified barriers. The findings from this entire WP are compiled and analysed in D3.6.

WP4: Set up pilot observations of DATS’ adoption within the UCs have provided valuable learnings on the influential factors related to the use of DATS, while looking at the changes initiated in advisory services. Deeper understanding of how advisors can be enabled to assist farmers in adopting DATS, will maximise the benefits associated with these technologies. Spill-over effects of DATS between advisors across EU and beyond are expected, as more cross-fertilisation (CVs) between farmers, advisors and stakeholders in the UCs, takes place.

WP5: UC-leaders had to follow training sessions to aid them in developing a roadmap for their UC. What they learned was obviously relevant for this task, but was also very interesting in general for the development of new business models and action plans for other digital tools, or even in general business development. During the sessions, they also learned to work with digital brain storming tools, break-out rooms, online polling etc., leading to progress beyond the state of the art.

WP6: The wide range of challenges, addressed in the 20 UCs, in all EU regions, will give an inspiring set of learning histories for other advisors. 10 other UCs are selected and will start the adoption and adaption of other DATS, to solve additional challenges. These findings will be communicated in the trainings (T6.5) and project communication (WP7). The learnings will be communicated by reflections on implementation in T6.2 and on trainings in T6.6.
DATS Assessment Tool
FAIRshare Talks Video Gallery
New DATS Flyer
Roadmap for large UCs
FAIRshare Good Practice Gallery
Map of DATS in the inventory