Launch of major new EU project to explore digital technologies for farm advisors.

European agriculture is facing critical challenges over the coming decades, particularly the sustainability of food production. A five year EU Horizon 2020 funded project was launched in Dublin, Ireland last week with the aim of improving agricultural advisors’ use of digital tools and services to enable better uptake of digital technologies by European farmers.

Project Coordinator, Professor Tom Kelly from Teagasc said “Electronic data generation, analytics and communication technologies have the potential to enable more accurate, faster and better decision-making on farms. There is a danger that digitisation and future innovations will be hampered unless the rural advisory community is mobilised to take ownership of digital tools and to advocate at the user interface.

The FAIRshare project, which is being led by Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, brings together 22 partners from 15 countries across Europe. The project consists of a mix of partners who have different backgrounds and skills working towards a common goal of unlocking the benefits of digitisation for farmers and society. This project will engage, enable and empower the independent farm advisory community, through sharing of tools, expertise and experiences.

AC3A is a partner in this project and leader of the activity analysing the relationship between the interface and the user. Together with the Chambers of agriculture of Normandy, Brittany and Occitanie and the APCA we will work to achieve objectives described below.

The FAIRshare project has two main objectives. Firstly, to develop an open inventory of the digital tools and services in use internationally, which will be available to all advisors. Secondly, to create a ‘living lab’ which empowers advisors from across the EU to engage and interact with the online inventory. TheFAIRshare will fund 40 different advisory cases that will enable advisors to address the challenge of embedding digital tools in different advisory and farming contexts across the EU. Special focus will be on co-designing powerful communication and engagement approaches for advisors to advocate and inspire their peers and farmer clients, driving a stronger network for the wider and better use of digital tools.

Partner countries include: Ireland (lead), Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Switzerland.