While the European agriculture is facing an ageing population with transmission issues, a new generation of farmers is rising: young people with no agricultural certification and who are not from farming background. Those new farmers are seeking to develop a more sustainable agriculture while properly earning their lives. More than traditional farmers, they are entrepreneurs. Thus, not only do they need technical agricultural knowledge but also organisational, economic, and entrepreneurial skills.
The existing training structures do not meet their needs due to a too dense and too long training course (full-time training programme for several years). Moreover, those new farmers are mostly interested in agroecological and organic practices which are not specifically provided in those courses.
The EU and the european countries have identified the need to reshape our agriculture towards greater sustainability but a concrete transition struggle to emerge. Hence, the demand is currently outstripping supply, the demand for organic products in the European Union has highly increased over the last past years : +34% of organic products consumption between 2010 and 2015, whereas the number of producers decreased (AgenceBio, 2016). These trends highlight the importance to tackle the issue of establishment of new and young farmers, especialy in organic farming where an attractive market exists.
In addition to having to deal with the difficulties of their farm creation (e. g. land access issues), new farmers must learn quickly and efficiently their new job. Therefore, to support them throughout the process of installation, structures such as agricultural incubator are created, especially in France, but they are sorely lacking training tools.
Beyond this specific target group at the origin of the project idea, the project will aim to respond to the needs of young european farmers facing the same issues: lack of entrepreneurial skills and specific organic and agroecological training.
The aim of the project is to provide high quality learning opportunities on agroecogical and organic agriculture, entrepreneurial skills, and concrete examples of good practices and tips from European farmers. Targeting young and new farmers, the training programme will be designed according to a capacity building approach based on relevant, customized, innovative and easily accessible tools that can be mobilized by organisations of agricultural training.
To achive those objectives, the LEAN project will provide 2 main Intellectual Outputs:
O1 : Training programme on agroecological and organic agronomic knoledge and entrepreneurial skills for new and young farmers
O2 : In depth case studies on accomplished farmers
Main results produced within (1) are a training needs assessment, Open Educational Resource modules on agroecological and organic farming and guidelines for learners and facilitators. The training system approach is based on the educational method ‘flipped classroom training’ during which learners use the training resources on their own before engaging discussion with the facilitator. This independent training system will allow every learner to advance at their own pace and to acquire knowledge according to their own specific experience. The case studies (2) will analyse the practices implemented by the farmers and propose feedbacks and tips for the learners. Three case studies per country represented in the consortium will be carried out.
Through the combination of online training material, case studies, best practices examples, and face-to-face exchanges, the learning programme will offer a complete and enriching training for new farmers.
The training modules will be freely accessible on an online platform where interactions between learners, facilitators and other stakeholders will be encouraged.
More generally, the LEAN project is expected to participate to the european agricultural model transition towards more sustainability and viability.
The project consortium is composed of six European organisations form five EU countries. The partnership is established between vocational education organisations, research and consulting organisations, and NGO, all of them working in the field of agriculture.
|Information and knowledge dissemination | Socio-economics of farm business ||
European Union DG Education and Culture, Erasmus+ Programme Key Action 2: Strategic Partnerships
2018 - 2020
Contact person/s at IfLS:
Simone Sterly, Christoph Mathias