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Sustainable Entrepreneurship based on Multifunctional Agriculture
Date du début: 1 oct. 2015, Date de fin: 30 sept. 2017 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

The EU has clearly identified the need for European agriculture to be reshaped towards greater sustainability. Multifunctional agriculture is the key concept underlying the reformed agricultural and rural development policy aiming at increasing sustainability of agriculture, while at the same time being competitive at the European and global market. Most farmers, especially young farmers and managers of family farms, however, lack the skills necessary to successfully engage in and implement the EU's measures aiming at multifunctional agriculture. This is less due to a lack of attitude or technical (agricultural) knowledge but rather a matter of missing economic, organisational and entrepreneurial skills. Thus the SEMA project addresses the nexus of multifunctional agriculture and the necessary entrepreneurial skills among young and family farmers. The SEMA project aims at providing high quality learning opportunities on multifunctional agriculture oriented entrepreneurial skills and capacities for European farmers, and increasing competencies of trainers and facilitators of organisations relevant for agricultural training at a regional and local level. Specifically targeting young farmers and family farm managers, the capacity building approach offers opportunities for farmers beyond formal vocational training and further education at low cost and low entry thresholds. The project will use innovative ways of implementation through the combination of online training material with best practices examples and face-to-face training of farmers, mentors and trainers. The project consortium is composed of 7 organisations from 5 different EU countries (DE, ES, LT, RO, PL) and shows cooperation between new and old European Member States. A comprehensive partnership has been established, consisting of a research and consulting organisation (IfLS), adult education organisations (DEFOIN, AEPMR, ARID), a regional farmer organisation (ASAJA), a private agricultural consulting firm (HuL) and an institute of ICT and education technologies (BETI). To achieve the objectives of the project three Intellectual Outputs will be developed, tested and multiplied: the ‘Training system on entrepreneurial skills for multifunctional agriculture’ (O1) acting as an umbrella for the ‘In depth case studies on entrepreneurial multifunctional farmers’ (O2), and the ‘Mentoring programme on entrepreneurial skills for multifunctional agriculture’ (O3). Main results produced within O1 are a training needs assessment, Open Educational Resource modules on multifunctional farming and guidelines for learners and facilitators. The SEMA training system approach is based on the innovative educational method ‘flipped classroom training’, during which learners first use the OERs independently and then discuss the learning outcomes with the facilitator. The online system will also feature a platform for interactions between learners, facilitators, mentors and mentees, and other stakeholders. All outputs produced will be freely accessible for the public within and beyond the project’s lifetime. The project will have beneficial impacts on young farmers and family farmers through increasing their entrepreneurial skills and applying these to successfully develop new business strategies and action plans for setting in value multifunctional agriculture. Furthermore agricultural organisations active in farm management related training will strengthen their capacities to offer high quality ICT-based tailored learning opportunities for individual learners. Finally, the awareness of stakeholders about the importance of entrepreneurial skills for multifunctional agriculture will be raised, and their knowledge on availability of the SEMA training system and mentoring programme will enable stakeholders to mainstream project results into the respective national and European policies. The envisaged longer term benefits of the project are an increased competitiveness of farms which are at the same time contribute to the provision of public goods such as functional water and nutrient cycles or landscape attractiveness. Thus SEMA will contribute to an increased overall sustainability of agricultural activities and viability of rural areas on a regional level. Last, it will also strengthen the position of younger and family farmers, thus maintaining the diversity of farm structures while supporting the new rural paradigm.

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