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Successful final workshop on the promotion of organic farming at universities in South-East Europe

Taking part in the final workshop: back row, standing, from left to right: Dr. Anna Diveky-Ertsey, Hungary, Professor Esma Velagic Habul, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Dr. Vesela Chalova, Bulgaria; Professor Urs Niggli, Switzerland; Assistant Professor Atanaska Stoeva, Bulgaria; Professor Ardian Maci, Albania; Professor Shukri Fetahu, Republic of Kosovo; front row, from left to right: Laszlo Csambalik, Hungary; Envev Isufi, Albania; Anna Bieber, Switzerland; Professor Syle Sylani, Republic of Kosovo; Professor Ivan Manolov, Bulgaria; (Not pictured: Assistant Professor Julian Shehu, Albania¸ Assistant Professor Aleksandra Nikolic, Bosnia and Herzegovina). Photo: Julian Shehu

The final workshop of the SCOPES (Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland) project ‘Promoting university education in organic farming in South-East Europe’ took place from 22 to 23 May 2014 at the faculty of agricultural sciences of the University of Tirana in Albania.

The project was funded through the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) SCOPES programme. It is targeted at Eastern European countries and newly independent states from the former Soviet Union. The aim of the project is to improve the teaching at universities offering courses on organic farming by giving the teaching staff access to information and tools.

Five South-East European universities which teach courses in organic farming have taken part in the project, which has been coordinated by FiBL, over a period of almost three years. In May 2014 the project partners from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Hungary and Switzerland met for a third time in Tirana, Albania for a final workshop. Here they presented introductory lectures on various organic farming topics to an audience of students and teaching staff, agricultural consultants and political representatives. The development of a complete lecture module on organic farming at undergraduate level is a major outcome of the project. All the lectures and further teaching material have been made available to all the project partners via a portal-based platform (Sharepoint). By the end of the project this autumn the lectures will also be translated into all the relevant languages of the participating countries. Furthermore, an e-learning instrument (Moodle) has been configured to meet the needs of the participating faculties. This will foster knowledge transfer and direct communication both between staff and students and among students themselves.

The final meeting of the project partners will take place in September 2014 as part of a convention of the European Network of Organic Agriculture University Teachers (ENOAT).

Further information