Newsletter 30, February 2016 by the EIP-AGRI Service Point
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Inspirational ideas

'Mission possible' to preserve wetlands in Spain

Las Tablas de Daimiel wetlands national park (Spain) is a very important stopover site for migratory birds. However, for the past 30 years, the intense use of water to irrigate agricultural land nearby has almost dried out the aquifer which usually supplies water to the wetlands, significantly reducing the bird population. So the project ‘Misión Posible’ has been working with farmers in the area using decision support tools to save water, and in 3 years they have saved the equivalent volume of 728 Olympic swimming pools! Read more.

Finding the right match - farms for new entrants

Becoming a farmer is not easy, especially if you were not born on a farm. The most common barrier to new entrants into farming is access to land. But Europe is also seeing many older farmers without a ‘successor’. Connecting new farmers with older ones and matching their needs in terms of land is essential for the future of farming in Europe, but it can be difficult. The Land Mobility Service of Macra na Feirme in Ireland is demonstrating that a lot can be done to facilitate this match-making process. Find out more.

European Commission conference “Designing the path: a strategic approach to EU agricultural research and innovation”

From 26-28 January 2016, the European Commission hosted a large conference to discuss a long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation. The conference builds on the outcomes of a 6-month process which started in June 2015 in EXPO Milan. The objectives were to present what a strategic approach to EU Agricultural research and innovation could be and to discuss various aspects of how it could be implemented. Presentations and videos are available on the conference page.

What else is happening in the world of agricultural innovation?

Over the next few months, a number of interesting events will be organised all over Europe on a variety of agricultural topics including innovations for fresh fruit and vegetable supply chains and forest management.

You can check the EU calendar here.

Should you have information about interesting events in the coming months, please let us know:

EIP-AGRI Focus Groups: new topics announced!

Another two new EIP-AGRI Focus Groups will start this spring. They will address the following themes:
  • FG19 Nutrient recycling: how to improve the agronomic use of recycled nutrients (N and P) from livestock manure and other organic sources?
  • FG 20 Sustainable mobilisation of forest biomass: how to improve the sustainable mobilisation of biomass from our forests in the EU?
Look out for the call for experts in late February. It will be announced in our newsletter and on our website.

IPM strategies to tackle pests and diseases for Brassica

European oilseed rape and Brassica vegetable production faces a range of problems with pests, diseases and weeds. “To control pests and diseases in oilseed rape and Brassica vegetables, we need considerable collaboration between farmers, and incentives to make this happen”, says Claudia Daniel, member of the EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in oilseed rape and Brassica vegetables. Read the group’s conclusions and recommendations in the Focus Group report.

High Nature Value - Farming profitability

The High Nature Value (HNV) farming concept recognises that the conservation of biodiversity in the EU also depends to a great extent upon the continuation of specific farming systems and practices across much wider areas of the countryside. Significant progress has been made in building appropriate policy support options for HNV farming, but HNV farming systems and associated biodiversity are still declining. The EIP-AGRI Focus Group on High Nature Value farming looked into complementary approaches and solutions for the challenges faced by HNV farmers. Read the recommendations, case studies and other inspiring ideas in the Focus Group’s final report and factsheet.

Latest update: EIP-AGRI in Rural Development Programmes

As of 11 December 2015, all of the Rural Development Programmes have been approved. 106 out of the 118 RDPs are implementing the cooperation measure and 94 (from 24 Member States) provide support for operational groups. Some 3 200 operational groups are expected to be established under the approved RDPs between 2014 and 2020. German state Schleswig-Holstein has already funded and published information on their first operational groups. More information on the Rural Development Programmes.

Innovative farmers platform

Like EIP-AGRI, Innovative Farmers, part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme aims at bridging the gap between the research carried out off-farm and the answers farmers are finding on-farm. The scheme is about ensuring both financial and environmental sustainability in farming. An interactive platform has been set up which invites farmers, advisors, researchers and businesses to make a profile. The platform then acts as a match-maker, forming new groups making connections according to compatibility. Read more.

Information day on the KIC call

Don’t forget, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), in collaboration with the European Commission, is organising an Info Day on 18 February 2016 in Brussels. The conference will give information and guidance on the Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) on Food for Future and Added Value Manufacturing. Registration is online. Find out more about the call and the event here.

EIP-AGRI Newsletter in Estonian, Hungarian…

More and more EIP-AGRI publications are being translated by members of the EIP-AGRI Network. The Service Point provides this newsletter in English and French, Soltub has been kindly translating it into Hungarian every month and now you can also read all of them in Estonian - thank you very much to the Estonian NRN. Let’s keep on translating! Contact Ina for information:

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