Project main objective is to improve the system of adult education in agriculture and rural development through strengthening competencies of agricultural adults educators.
Target group of the project are agricultural adults educators in 10 countries who will participate in webinars and professional development courses developed and organized in the framework of this project. Beneficiaries of the project are farmers and agricultural producers who will benefit from better professional support and knowledge that will be provided by the agricultural adults educators.
Intellectual outputs expected to be produced throughout this project are the following:
1. Comparative analyses of adults educational systems for farmers in 10 partner countries
2. Set of educational material in the field of English language for specific purposes
3. Lifelong learning methodology in agriculture developed
4. Website created
5. Online open source database developed containing professional development crash courses
In addition, it is expected that project contribute to:
6. better understanding of the needs and potential direction for further development of adults education system in the field of agriculture in 10 partner countries
7. stregthening of professional competences of more than 3000 agricultural adult educators in the field of English language, transversal skills and agri-business skills
8. innovating, upgrading and modernizing of the existing agricultural adult education programs offered in 10 partner countries
9. filling the skills gap of agricultural producers hampering their income
10. networking of and best practice sharing among agricultural adult educators through webinars and e-platform
11. Cooperation between the agricultural producers and educators will be improved (business and academic axes).
The following key activities will be undertaken in scope of this project:
1. Kick off meeting in Štip
2. Comparative analysis of adults educational systems for farmers including one team meeting at University of Foggia
3. Presentation of comparative analysis report at multiplier event in Belgrade
4. Development of a set of educational material in the field of English language for specific purposes including one team meeting at Technical University in Varna
5. Development of lifelong learning methodology in agriculture including one team meeting in at University Cukurova in Adana
6. Mid-term meeting at University ’’18. Decembre’’ in Alba Iulia
7. Development of open source database including one team meeting in Pristina
8. Creation of short videos with instructions for agricultural adults educators
9. 3 international webinars for agricultural adults educators from 10 partner countries
10. Study visit to Tartu in Estonia
Reasons for intervention
Adult education and agriculture play complementary roles in local socio economic development. Over past 100 years, agricultural educators have been pioneers in the development of adult education programs, yet emphasis on adult education in agriculture itself has declined in recent years in a number of European countries, as a result the need for interdisciplinary training is reflected in a number of agricultural areas, particularly where jobs and safeguarding of material necessities for living are at stake.
The Charter of European Agricultural Education from 2013 sees European agriculture being in need of a multifunctional, sustainable and competitive economic factor embracing the whole of the EU area, including regions with specific problems. To achieve this, and address common challenges, i.e.new requirements with regard to use of ICTs, foreign languages and production methods – quality standards, greater attention to environmental protection or health aspects, for example – make it necessary for all concerned to continuously upgrade and revise their knowledge. Processing and marketing of agricultural products is no longer exclusive realm of the processing industry or trade. Shift in these operations to producers themselves calls for the corresponding know-how as well. Finally, diversification of income sources to safeguard a reasonable standard of living in rural areas demands additional knowledge and skills.
Agri producers in Southern and Eastern Europe by default decide to grow traditional agricultural products because they have no or limited knowledge for growing other cultures, as well as no information on how to be more competitive on market. Rural agricultural producers follow the traces of their ancestors, trying to produce crop in order to cover expenses and earn for a life. In those terms, it is significantly important for this category of people to be properly informed on all opportunities they might have, and to be encouraged not to force traditional habits in agriculture, but to get involved in a modern agri production. It has also been perceived that agri producers do not exploit enough the LLL opportunities that would enable them to gain additional knowledge in agriculture, develop business skills and boost their entrepreneurial spirit. Agricultural educators rarely produce applied research work or and are very passively involved in agricultural education.