Developing a Knowledge-based Sheep Industry on the.. (KNOWSHEEP)
Developing a Knowledge-based Sheep Industry on the Baltic Sea Islands
Date du début: 31 oct. 2010,
Date de fin: 30 déc. 2013
The traditional Baltic island sheep are not widely appreciated, although small-scale sheep keeping is a traditional activity for islanders and perfect for Natura/nature protection areas, where extensive farming is forbidden due to environmental considerations. Sheep is fairly unknown as a simultaneous source of meat, wool, and landscape design. Typically, sheep farming is polarized; targeting either on meat or wool production, thus, foreign or local meat/wool lamb breeds are preferred. It is not known that the native sheep offers high quality wool, several shades of yarn, delicious meat. In Finland, native sheep has been acknowledged as a breed. The Estonian Native Sheep is not yet; thus, the project will benefit, among other things, from the Finnish experiences with acknowledgement procedure of a native sheep. Project activities include research and review of the status of sheep industry (sheep density, - breeding, - health, pasture management) and an assessment of its capacity and potential on the Baltic Islands, forming the basis for a common vision; compiling resource material for producers and processors –reports, studies, references on sheep farming, housed by the sheep resource centres; creating material for presentations; organizing seminars for sheep producers and processors. 3 books are published – on handicraft and sheep keeping for wider public and a research book for experts. In result, sheep resource centres are established in Estonia to exchange info, organize events and training, being a meeting place for people in the same field. For wider public, multi-media, multi-lingual presentations on traditions of sheep industry on the Baltic islands is provided. If pilot resource centres succeed in Estonia, they can be implemented in Finland. The project is structured in the following WPs: WP1 Management & Coordination; WP2 Resource Analysis and planning of strategy; WP3 Research and development; WP4 Implementation: Establishing Sheep Resource centers on the Baltic Islands; WP5 Dissemination: Educational/Promotional Exhibits and Events. WPs are structured on the principle of graduation – each WP gives input for the following WPs, e.g. research (WP3) is based on resource analysis (WP2) and research results are presented in seminars and publications (WP5), distributed and stored at resource centres (WP4). Achievements: The KNOWSHEEP project set itself the task of raising awareness and appreciation for sheep farming, which in turn adds value to the local archipelago-based living environment by creating jobs in processing, marketing and tourism and promotes the preservation of biotopes and biodiversity. Project activities included the research and review of the status of sheep farming and an assessment of its capacity and potential on the Baltic Sea islands. The project organised seminars and published books for sheep farmers, experts and the public. Three sheep resource centres have been established to exchange information, organise events and training sessions and serve as a meeting place for likeminded folk involved in sheep farming.
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