The complexity of organic farming requires farmers to have a very high level of knowledge and skills. But exchange on organic farming techniques remains limited.Therefore, a web-based platform to promote exchange of knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists was established by the project partners.
Together, we as farmers and farm associations can use OK-Net Arable to find practical organic solutions, and at the same time discuss how it works on the field, in our geographic and climatic conditions. This should enable us to give feedback on the solutions, improve them and, in the end, to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping all over Europe.
Farmers' needs were taken into account at every stage of development in order to make it easy to use. The platform is available in 10 languages (English, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Latvian), and the solutions are divided according to the most relevant topics in organic arable farming: Soil quality and fertility, nutrient management, pest and disease control, weed management and solutions for specific crops. Not only can we find solutions and engage with each other via this platform, we can also propose solutions. We hope this will help improve exchange of knowledge among farmers.
The web platform is part of the OK-Net Arable project, which is coordinated by IFOAM EU and involves 17 partners from 12 countries throughout Europe. The project is financed by Horizon 2020, the EU’s main funding instrument for research and innovation, and it was launched in the spring of 2015. OK-Net Arable is proud to be one of the first four so-called thematic networks funded under the umbrella of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI). This policy instrument aims to foster innovation by connecting farmers and researchers. OK-Net Arable started in March 2015 and will run until February 2018.
Farmers play a prominent role in all stages of the project, making OK-Net Arable very innovative among projects of its kind. Much more than being asked for advice, farmers engage in a process of co-creation throughout the project. This work is facilitated by 14 farmer innovation groups.
- Urs Niggli, Director FiBL Switzerland
- Bram Moeskops, OK-Net Arable project coordinator, bram.moeskops(at)ifoam-eu.org, Phone +32 2 416 27 61