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FAIRshare. Farm Advisory digital Innovation tools Realised and Shared

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - FAIRshare (FAIRshare. Farm Advisory digital Innovation tools Realised and Shared)

Reporting period: 2022-11-01 to 2023-10-31

The FAIRshare project was focused on reducing the digital divide in agriculture and forestry, it aimed to engage farm advisors directly and farmers indirectly through their networks and through targeted activities. Direct engagement and involvement was encouraged in the adoption and use of new digital tools and services in 42 diverse user cases . The project laid the groundwork for increased networking, sharing of digitalised tools and service ideas. A key development in this was the Permanent Networking Facility(PNF), which accumulated more than 370 examples of tools and services used by advisors in their day to day work in different contexts throughout Europe and globally. The PNF platform also made an inventory of almost 200 digital training modules and a library of short animated good practice videos. This PNF will continue to be supported and available for farm advisors, which given their unique role within the Agricultural Knowledge Innovation System (AKIS) and their direct link to farmers on the ground, are best placed to advocate and support the use of DATS at farm level going forward.


Each advisor who participated in the projects 42 User Cases had an impact on their own clients/farmers, potentially reaching a wider audience through a wider use of digitization in their organisations, by their advisory colleagues and their client base. As a result of training and guidance provided to User Case participants, they were equipped to implement the use of further Digital Advisory Tools and Services and have established stronger networks and contacts for future collaborations in the fast changing digitalised agricultural economy. The experiences and documented guidelines for cross-visits developed during the project will serve as valuable resources for future digitalisation collaborations and innovation within the wider European AKIS system.

The design and use of the Multi-Actor Approach (MAA) adopted for the Use Cases was pivotal in bringing about a clear understanding and approach to overcoming the many digitalisation challenges identified among European farmer advisors, on individual and organisational level, and in successfully addressing the project's challenge. The overarching goal of FAIRshare was to engage, enable, and empower the independent farm advisor community. The multi actor experience of sharing tools, expertise, and motivations, helped supported two main approaches; one gathered an evidence base of digital tools and services used internationally, leveraging partner institutions' social networks across EU and non-EU countries. The second approach established a participatory "living laboratory" of user cases, empowering advisor peers from across the EU to interact with the online inventory. This "living lab" approach enabled advisors to tackle challenges related to adapting, adopting and embedding digital tools and services in advisory contexts and farming communities, sectors and contexts across Europe. Special emphasis was placed on co-designing effective communication and engagement approaches for advisors to advocate and inspire their peers and farmer clients, fostering a social movement for the wider and increased and improved use of digital tools by advisors and farmers.
The project funded over forty advisory services all over Europe to address a particular need. These needs varied across a range of public and private advisory services and from country to county, with different needs and starting points. Thus supporting the trial and widespread adoption of DATS throughout Europe. This was accomplished with the implementation of User Cases (UC) using a Living Labs and Multi-Actor Approach, in the co-creation and sharing of knowledge between actors from different backgrounds, such as scientists, farm advisors, farmers, IT experts, and others. From the several User Cases some advisors had the opportunity to travel to other countries (Cross Visits), meet other advisors and share their experiences and know how. It was also reassuring that many advisors were able to find useful tools in the FAIRshare inventory and adapt them for their own use.

Apart from the sharing and adaptation of the digital tools and services the project also produced a set of animated videos to highlight digitalisation good practice and a bank of training supports counting with nearly 200 training modules in the context of upskilling advisors and farmers all of these are available now at https://fairshare-pnf.eu/. Both the DATS and the training modules are available in some cases in more than one language, allowing it to be trialled in different countries. An inventory (library) of over 370 DATs was created and, in this regard, FAIRshare implemented two main actions: firstly engaging advisors to talk about the tools and services they use and to share them with others and, secondly, improving advisors’ access to and use of digital tools and digital skills.

Bringing digital services out of the office and into the field and farm offers a huge opportunity to support farmer with better and more specific advice and information to help in the planning and operational decisions and the analysis of data specific to every animal, crop, field and farm.

Additionally, existing networks of advisors were maximized through their participation as FAIRshare partners, third parties, and multi-actor participants. EUFRAS was the main network with over 36 members representing over 16,000 advisors in 25 countries. SEASN, IALB as well represented a large proportion of European rural farm advisors. As more and more advisors shared common media platforms with their colleagues and farmer clients, the ripple effect from FAIRshare was significant. The expectations of advisors and stakeholders in both local and European networks were met through regular presentations and publications of experiences and elaboration, in seminars, conferences allowing to further disseminate FAIRshare results and importantly, its network.
The approach within FAIRshare was to learn by doing (living lab), which was evident through all the work packages, and in a fast-changing landscape, this approach was necessary. FAIRshare produced over 29 reports in addition to UC-specific reports, many of which were published as EIP Practice Abstracts tracking the work completed throughout the five years. The PNF will continue to be supported and used by other EU projects such as CODEX and Quantifarm, the gathered information and tools are available also in the EU-FarmBook. Additionally, Train the Trainers program in FAIRshare played a crucial role in equipping advisors and stakeholders with the necessary expertise to support farmers in adopting digital advisory tools and services. Through comprehensive training sessions and workshops, participants enhanced their capabilities and became effective agents of change within their communities. Their role as trained individuals was pivotal in promoting innovation and sustainability in agriculture across Europe, contributing to the overall success of FAIRshare, as well as the daily use of digital tools by European farm advisors and farmers.
DATS Assessment Tool
FAIRshare Talks Video Gallery
New DATS Flyer
Roadmap for large UCs
FAIRshare Good Practice Gallery
Map of DATS in the inventory