CORDIS - Forschungsergebnisse der EU

Boosting Innovation in Organic FRUIT production through strong knowledge NETworks

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BIOFRUITNET (Boosting Innovation in Organic FRUIT production through strong knowledge NETworks)

Berichtszeitraum: 2021-05-01 bis 2023-04-30

Fruit production is an especially challenging activity because of an especially high pest and disease pressure on this crop that can cause big harvest losses. A suitable pest and disease organic management strategy require a lot of knowledge. Due to the changing climate conditions and the increasing pressure of new pest and diseases, a lot of knowledge is only existing at local levels or concised in technical and scientific literatur and not sufficently accessible and spread among farmers. Therefore, making relevant information quickly and easily available is important to secure organic fruit production in Europe. To work on the accessibility of the knowledge, the project focusses on two main objectives: to put the knowledge in easily accessible format using the language of the target group, and to spread this content through the most used and efficient communication channels as well as the established networks .Reaching this second objective means identifying and strengthening established knowledge sharing networks in order to create a stable and efficient European innovation network of knowledge sharing networks to ensure the spread of new knowledge and best practices in the coming years. The project could reinforce the existing pome and stone fruit knowledge network around the conference Ecofruit, to widen it to eastern and southern countries including the citrus fruit production knowledge networks. The way of sharing knowledge has been restructured by including digital means of work to enable a more specialised knowledge sharing as well as an easier participation for newcomers.
The project focussed on the one side on identifying the needs of knowledge. On the other side, the project identified the knowledge owned by farmers, local network of farmers or available in technical and scientific literature articles. After collecting and mapping this available knowldge, the project ensure a solid sorting out, completion and assessment of this collection of knowledge through some of the best recognized technical experts in organic fruit growing in Europe. After matching the identified needs with the assessed knowledge and having matched learning formats with topics, the project created then formats that are quick and easy to use for practitionners to make these information available:

- 99 practice abstracts of 2 pages maximum have been written and illustrated with pictures. The practice abstracts focus either on the presentation of the recommended strategy (understood as a set of measures to implement) to fight one specific problem, or a specific measure as a part of a global strategy against one problem. Some practice abstracts present the state of the knowledge on variety or rootstocks for a specific region. The practice abstracts are illustrated with pictures of the pests, diseases, or measures recommeded to enable the users to recognize them visually in their orchards.Those practice abstracts have been translated in more than 10 languages.
- 33 short videos of a few minutes filmed directly in orchards, giving direct visual input to one issue. The videos are subtitled in 10 languages
- 3 e-learning courses, giving a complete overview of the knowledge synthetised by BIOFRUITNET by linking all the produced materials together
- 5 podcasts sharing experience from farmers
With this sampling, the organic pome, stone and citrus production in Europe has now a solid sampling of easy to access learning materials to support farmers and their production and train agricultural student.

In order to ensure an efficient dissemination of these materials, each partner mapped the networks and communication channels of their own country. Some of the partners additionally mapped the one of their neighbouring countries. These learning contents have then been spread to the target groups troughout Europe thanks these identified national and international communication networks, through channels created by the project: the webpage, social media accounts, a kick-off event, informative posters and flyers, and through their presence or organisation of dissemination events and conferences.
The project modernized and widen an already existing knowledge exchange system in several regards:

- As a group of actors (advisors, researchers and productors) of mainly western and northern Europe were already physically meeting every 2 years, persons from more than 10 other european countries could physically meet this core group through the project, reflect and agree together with them on future exchange formats. This will considerably widen the european knowledge exchange network and potentially increase the amount and the quality of the information shared. Ideas how to widen the network to other fruit groups have already been shared (for example berries or exotic fruits, more and more produced in the south of Europe) and will be implemented in the coming years.
- As farmers in Europe often only use and trust information in their own language, one of the strongest bottlebeck to knowledge accessibility identified during the project is the language barrier. That is why the project let the possibility open for anyone to translate the practice abstracts with the only condition to take responsibility for the correctness of the translation and share the translated version with the Organic Farm Knowledge Plattform, sothat it is available online. The project not only made the knowledge available in more than 10 languages, it opened the possibility to translate easily the 99 practice abstracts in any european language, widening the impact of the project even more.
- One of the long term impacts of the project will be to generate knowledge on challenges that are today left without solutions. Project partners and stakeholders could identify thanks to discussions during the project common issues and research needs. These discussions will lead to common research and project proposals