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July 19, 2023

Portugal AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview

In Portugal, since 2015 AKIS has been strengthened, as a result of GO’s projects, for which the involvement of 4 less typologies of stakeholders in each project is required. With this type of partnership, the links between the different stakeholders have been strengthened, which translates into a strengthening of the links between AKIS stakeholders.

According to article 69 of DL 5/2023, the coordination of AKIS at national level will be ensured by the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DGADR), an entity of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAA), which is the coordinator of the National Rural Network and responsible for the Agricultural and Forestry Counselling System.

An AKIS Follow-up and Monitoring Group (GAMA) will be created, coordinated by DGADR, which will bring together representatives of public and private entities.

This Monitoring and Follow-up Group will be responsible for the approval and revision of the AKIS Action Plan and its monitoring plan.

This plan, to be built in a participatory manner, according to a bottom-up approach, will focus on the articulation between instruments and policies and will define lines of action and activities to be developed, which include the following areas:

– Establish synergies and complementarity between support instruments and programmes

– Support and empower the development of innovation projects in partnership, at national and international level;

– Promote cooperation networks between project teams, multi-sectoral, at national and European level;

– Promote training and skills of trainers, technicians and producers.

– Develop and strengthen networks between all actors through the development of joint activities, fostering knowledge flows.


AKIS Coordination Bodies

According to article 69 of DL 5/2023, the coordination of AKIS at national level will be ensured by the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DGADR), an entity of the Ministry of Agriculture (MAA), which is also the coordinator of the National Rural Network and responsible for the Agricultural and Forestry Counselling System.

Coordination Objectives:

– Coordinate and develop the national AKIS System, with a view to integrating all entities and strengthening the transfer of innovation among all AKIS actors;

– Promote the development of AKIS, with a view to increasing the transfer of knowledge/innovation to practice, contributing to the increase of productivity, competitiveness and innovation, in the various sectors, agricultural and forestry;

– Promote and dynamise Sectoral Working Groups and other structures integrated in AKIS;

– Contribute to the definition of national policies related to AKIS;

– Promote dynamics that facilitate the participation of system actors in national and international networks, partnerships and projects that contribute to the development of their activity and to the strengthening of knowledge sharing and dissemination.


Priorities:

– Productive activity supported by the principle of “active management” of the territory – innovation, digitalization

– Soil as the main asset of farmers and forestry producers and associated with the use of other natural resources – Biodiversity – environmental sustainability

– Economic, social and environmental sustainability to ensure the resilience and vitality of rural areas – rural development

– Knowledge-based development of the sector

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July 17, 2023

Join the modernAKIS Network!

Knowledge and innovation play a crucial role in helping farmers, foresters and rural communities meet current and future challenges. To ensure that knowledge is shared between everyone who uses and produces it, and that people are connected, effective Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) are needed across Europe.

Join the modernAKIS network today, click here!


Find out more about the network and your benefits below:

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July 17, 2023

Greece AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview

Based on a complete diagnosis of the existing situation, a structured AKIS will bedesigned and put into place with specific goals and well-allocated roles to stakeholders. The basic aim will be to transfer knowledge and innovation in order to reduce the gap between knowledge, science, experience, research outputs and practical applications.

According to the Strategic Pan of Greece, the integral elements of AKIS in Greece will be a National Committee with an executive role, which will provide goals and directions on the contect of Farm Advisory and Training Programs. The Committee will work closely with the Coordination Body and the Greek CAP Network for designing its plan of action but also with regards to facilitating networking among bodies implementing farm advisory and training and producing research and innovation.

Key actors with a role in this Committee include

  • Greek Managing Authority of the CAP Strategic Plan (Coordination Body)
  • Ministry of Rural Development and Food
  • Universities relating to the farming sector
  • Hellenic Agricultural Organization – DIMITRA
  • Greek CAP Network
  • The Geotechnical Chamber of Greece

Secondary stakeholders have also been identified

  • Farmers’ collective Organizations
  • Actors in the agri-food value chain
  • Young Farmers Groups
  • Consumers
  • Other Minsitries (Education and Regligious Affairs; Development and Investments; Digital Governance)
  • Regional Governments
  • General Secretariat of Research and Innovation (GSRI)

Significant roles will be played by

  • Farm Advisory Services
  • The EU and national Rural Networks
  • EIP-AGRI
  • Interventions on “Knowledge and information exchange” and “Cooperation”

AKIS Coordination Bodies

In Greece the AKIS Coordination Body is the Greek Managing Authority of the CAP Strategic Plan, which will work together with other relevant actors and structures of AKIS in Greece in the following domains

  • Implementation of priorities relevant to training of Farm Advisors
  • Utilization of platforms – such as a Digital Repository of Farm Knowledge – and feedback with information and knowledge from the implementation of interventions
  • Networking among several partners in AKIS across Greece and EU
  • Ensuring synergies and avoidance of “time gaps” in the implementation of Actions relating to Cooperation, Training and Advisory
  • Facilitation of the evaluation of applications and publication of open Calls for potential implementation bodies

CAP Strategic Plan Priorities

The CAP strategic plan is meant to support the primary sector of Greece in order to cover the concerns of consumers and producers regarding healthy food as well as to protect the environment (including the reduction of environmental and climate footprints)

The following are particularly highlighted

  • Ensure fair incomes for farmers by reducing the imbalances in the allocation of direct payments
  • Improve the competitiveness of the agri-food sector through the increase of the added value that will be derived by the combined increase in incomes
  • Reduce production costs through the use of new technologies
  • Reinforce cooperation among farmers and create robust collective schemes that will generate economies of scale
  • Attract young farmers and create new jobs in rural areas

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July 6, 2023

Malta AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview

The government is taking a central role in coordinating Malta’s AKIS – mainly through the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights (MAFA) and the designated AKIS CB i.e., the Agricultural Directorate.

Relationships between government bodies and the agricultural community are mainly defined around the RDP (Rural Development Programme) implementation activities. In general, knowledge flows are mainly driven by traditional methods of knowledge transfer, and yet to evolve towards circular and interactive models of knowledge flows. The need for training and advice amongst Malta’s farm and rural population is significant since many farms are managed on a part-time basis and management practices are learned informally from parents or other relatives. Traditionally farm advisory services in Malta have been provided by few private, mostly farmers’ based organizations.

In May 2020, MAFA launched its inhouse, accredited, Farm Advisory Service, AgriConnect aimed at providing free advice to farmers, on Conditionality, agri-environment climate measures, other rural development measures and the use of new technologies. Agri-Connect already offers other numerous services including:

  • Consultancy regarding the adherence to the requirements resulting from Conditionality Requirements. This consists in on-site visits to land, livestock and farm; provision of reports to farmers on the findings of the visit, development of crop plans and fertiliser plans based on soil testing. Nutrient Management Plans and assistance for record keeping are also offered.
  • Crop compensation calculations for loss of agricultural land. AgriConnect caters for the issuing of crop compensation losses in cases where agricultural land is lost due to infrastructural projects or in cases where land is expropriated by a Government entity.
  • Advisory service on Soil Management Plans (SMP). AgriConnect caters for the issuing of crop compensation losses in cases where Agricultural land is lost due to infrastructural projects or in cases where land is expropriated by a Government entity.
  • Organisation and delivery of training to farmers on the use of Plant Protection Products (PPP); Use of Nitrates; and obligations linked to the Agri Environmental Climate Measures (AECM).
  • Front office services where farmers have access to all the service and schemes offered and accessible through the Agriculture Directorate.

Also in 2020, the MAFA also launched the Agricultural Research and Innovation Hub (AGRIHUB) aimed at creating the required framework and platform to support the agriculture sector through innovative agriculture applicative research, as well as serve as the basis for a coordinated approach between researchers and farmers to embark on a more sustainable form of food production and livestock farming.

Meanwhile, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the University of Malta (UoM) are responsible for higher education and agricultural research; however significant gaps are noted in the provision of the required certified local experts/advisors by these institutions.

For this Malta’s 2021 CAP Strategic Plan to be implemented from 2023 to 2027, will aim to ensure a more coordinated approach to knowledge transfer, innovation and digitalisation in Malta among key actors such as the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), University of Malta, Agriculture Directorate, other private advisors who assist in the drafting of applications, and entities responsible for setting up training courses aimed at supporting arable land farmers and livestock breeders.

There are no advisory infrastructures yet, however, the need for a national digital hub/platform for centralized collection of agricultural data knowledge sharing and the provision of tailored advisory services is acknowledged. Technical and financial support is required for such an endeavor.

The current knowledge transfer and advisory set-up in Malta requires better consolidation. A more coordinated and collaborative approach is required to move the Maltese AKIS towards a real system of innovation.


AKIS Coordination Bodies

The designated AKIS CB i.e. the Agricultural Directorate is the main regulator of the agricultural sector, responsible for:

  • Recognizing and supporting producers’ organizations;
  • Providing extensive services and specialized technical advice;
  • Promoting continuous dialogue with farmers;
  • Promoting sustainable agriculture and methods of food production.

In the recent years, the directorate has been reorganized to ensure that it continues to function as a regulator of the sector whilst at the same time be able to develop new products for the sector through its research and development arm and offer an efficient service through its advisory and extension services. The Agriculture Directorate’s three main pillars are AgriHub, AgriConnect and AgriKwalità, based on which it aims at a holistic approach on the local agricultural sector.

Through AgriHub, the Directorate aims to keep abreast with the latest research and technological advances whilst valorizing the Maltese agriculture and its niche products, thus remaining competitive in this continuously evolving sector. The AgriHub research is focused on the main agricultural products of the Maltese islands, and results obtained are communicated to the stakeholders through organized information sessions held by the Directorate.

Meanwhile, AgriConnect – the government’s Farm Advisory Service – serves as a bridge between farmers and AgriHub to make sure that the best technical advice is given for the farmers’ specific needs. Farmers and stakeholders have the facility to visit one of the Agriconnect Offices and make use of the services offered such as the drawing up of farm management plans, soil sampling, guidance on farm compliance and the management of ongoing schemes.

Further, the directorate carries out farmer inspections to ensure compliance with local and EU regulations. The inspections which fall within the AgriKwalita’ remit, guarantee that local produce/products which are processed for the quality mark certification, bear the highest quality, safeguard the environment, and ensure sustainable farming practices.

The Agriculture Directorate also provides laboratory services to determine soil quality and fertility as well as provide the basis for the recommendations provided in, for example, soil management plans and fertilizer plans as required by the Nitrates Action Programme Regulations.

Significant progress is required for the consolidation of the directorate’s role as Malta’s AKIS CB.


CAP Strategic Plan Priorities

Malta submitted its first proposal for a CAP Strategic Plan on 28 December 2021, after consultation with stakeholders. On 10 November 2022, Malta submitted a revised proposal, addressing the Commission’s observations on the first draft. The Commission approved this proposal on 30 November 2022. Some of the main priorities of the plan include the following:

  1. Economic Sustainability
  • Investments to stabilise farmers’ income to increase their resilience, ensure continued management of agricultural landscapes and the survival of key farming sectors. Focus will also be put on reducing the income gap between agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
  • Malta will also support investments in the processing and marketing of agricultural products, increasing their added value and improving their quality, as well as investments in infrastructure which are beneficial to the agricultural sector, such as the modernisation of roads in rural areas and improved farm waste management.
  • Specific sectors undergoing difficulties, such as beef, dairy, sheep and tomatoes, will benefit from such investments to ensure that they remain sustainable and to maintain a level of food security.
  • Specific investments are also aimed at precision livestock farming, construction of greenhouses, or diversification into new and potential niche sectors and into non-agricultural economic activities.

2. Environmental sustainability

  • The conversion to organic farming is one of the main commitments, as Malta has the lowest share in the EU and it has to contribute to the Green Deal targets. Malta is aiming to increase the share of organic farming from the current 66 hectares to 272 hectares by 2027.
  • Moreover, the P lan will also introduce eco-schemes, under which farmers are supported for voluntary practices going beyond the minimum legal requirements in terms of climate and the environment. Malta has three eco-schemes, for which over EUR 10 million are allocated to encourage farmers to adopt a more sustainable approach to pest controls (by encouraging alternative pest control measures), to enhance and restore biodiversity and pollination and to incentivize farmers to shift to biodegradable mulch in conventional agriculture instead of the use of plastics.
  • Noting the significance of water scarcity issues, investments for improved water storage, recycling, water collection and treatment are also foreseen.
  • Investments are also planned to protect and conserve some indigenous species, such as the Maltese black chicken, the Maltese ox and some indigenous trees, such as the carob tree and the mulberry tree.

3. Social sustainability

  • Malta has an ageing farm population with young farmers facing numerous barriers to start their
    agricultural activity, such as difficulties in accessing land, obtaining financial assistance and
    accessing markets. Therefore, Malta is dedicating support to help young farmers set-up to create
    a successful business in the agricultural sector, either from the beginning or by taking over an existing holding.

4. AKIS

  • The Plan will aim to ensure a more coordinated approach to knowledge transfer, innovation and digitalization in Malta among key actors.

5. Other key focus areas:

  • Additionally, to mitigate the difficult times beekeepers are facing due to beehive invasions, the Plan foresees various remedial actions. For example, it will train beekeepers on how to deal with beehive invaders/pests. It will also support investments to fight beehive invaders, diseases and support breeder boxes on farms.
  • Malta is also committed to improving animal welfare by introducing an intervention that will reduce the density of broiler hens during the growing period on the farm. The Plan will also help farmers through a number of incentives to apply more stringent animal welfare standards than the mandatory levels. Malta will support investments that can help detect diseases in livestock resulting in better targeted treatment and a reduction in the reliance on antimicrobials.

Find the full AKIS country report here.

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June 29, 2023

The first online meeting of the Spanish National Community of Practice of the modernAKIS

On June 28th, the first online meeting of the Spanish National Community of Practice of the modernAKIS project took place, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Spain (MAPA).

More than 20 members will form the most representative community of AKIS at national level, with profiles from all areas: CAP management authorities, advisory services, farmers’ associations, educational and research institutions and international bodies in the field of agriculture and environment.

Our colleagues Nuria Rodríguez and Rebeca Díez, from FEUGA, shared with this working group the main points of the modernAKIS project and presented the first steps that will shape this group as a “Think Tank” with the aim of identifying and defining the Spanish AKIS to, later on, participate jointly in the events at European level that will be developed throughout the modernAKIS project.

The MAPA presented the Ministry’s role in defining the Spanish AKIS and the ongoing actions in this area. They also highlighted the direct collaboration with the ATTRACTISS and EU-FarmBook projects.

FEUGA will meet with the Spanish CoP again next October at the Directorate General for Rural Development, Innovation and Agri-Food Training in Madrid in order to continue joining ideas to this project!

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June 28, 2023

modernAKIS partners participated in the ‘Fostering an effective and integrated AKIS in Member States’ event!

modernAKIS partners participated in the event Fostering an effective and integrated AKIS in Member States‘!

The event took place in Vilnius (Lithuania) on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 June 2023.

The EU CAP Network seminar ‘Fostering an effective and integrated AKIS in Member States’ aimed to support EU Member States in the implementation of their AKIS Strategic Plans, namely by promoting efficient knowledge and innovation flows across the EU. The event focused on exchanging experiences and inspiring examples, and shared plans to help organise and support effective knowledge creation and knowledge exchange between all AKIS actors

Read more about here!

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June 28, 2023

Denmark AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview

1 – Ministries

At governmental level the main official institutions of the Danish AKIS system are the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark, the Ministry of Environment of Denmark and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science who set out the general framework and research strategies which have a profound impact on the direction of the knowledge and information system for Danish farmers.

In Denmark the administration at state level is managed by The Danish Agricultural Agency. At the regional and local levels, much of the administrative responsibility has been delegated to the municipalities. The Ministry is responsible for policy development and implementation of the CAP and its administration and departments provide advice on legal matters.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency is organised into five centres: Centre for Rich Nature, Centra for Clean Water, Centre for Safe Chemistry, Centre for Green Production and Centre for Staff.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s Department is within these areas primarily responsible for ministerial and management services, quality assurance and coordination of cases, strategy and development, media and press activities, and finance and legal affairs.

2 Universities

The two main universities with agricultural related research and education are the Aarhus University (AU) and the University of Copenhagen (KU). The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) carries out the food and agricultural research at the National Food Institute. The last two universities with agricultural and spatial planning activities are the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and Aalborg University (AAU).

3 Agricultural colleges

There are 11 agricultural colleges organised as boarding schools. These traditional agricultural educational institutions are today mostly placed in Jutland. Previously they were scattered all over Denmark. They teach modern farmers and offer special courses in farm management and economics. In addition to the 11 traditional agricultural colleges, 8 vocational schools are offering agricultural educations.

4 Knowledge centres

SEGES Innovation is the main knowledge centre for agriculture in Denmark with expertise within all areas of agricultural activities and issues. The employees transfer the newest national and international research results into new knowledge for all Danish farm advisers and farmers; participate in research and innovative projects and develop new advisory methods and practices for implementation.

5 – GTS-institute

Many business sectors have a GTS-institute, which stands for Authorised Technological Service Institute. All GTS-institutes are non-profit organisations who have the task of supporting the creation of more innovative and competitive Danish companies. The GTS-institute, Danish Technological Institute develop, apply and disseminate research- and technologically-based knowledge for the Danish and International business sectors. One of the business sectors, AgroTech, delivers research-based consultancy and technological services for the farm and the agro-business industry.

6 – Advisory service centres

The 29 existing independent local farmer owned agricultural advisory centres form together with SEGES Innovation the Danish Agricultural Advisory Service (DAAS).

Patriotisk Selskab is likewise a farmer owned advisory service traditionally servicing the large estate landowners.

Veterinarian services and advising is performed by the farmer owned “LVK – Landbrugets Veterinære Konsulenttjeneste” and by a large number of individual and private veterinarian companies.

The horticulture sector is served by the advisory company HortiAdvice, which is owned by SEGES Innovation, the Dutch advisory company Delphy and the management of HortiAdvice.

7 – Private advisory companies

A relatively small number of small private advisory companies, typically between 1 to 8 employees/owners, offer advisory services. Most of them have specialised in one or a very few advisory subjects.

8 – Upstream industries

Suppliers for agriculture also often provide some form of advisory services as an integrated part of their supplies to the farmers. Among the major of those are farmer owned companies within feedstuff, nutrients and seed.

9 – Danish Agriculture and Food Council

The Danish Agriculture & Food Council represents the farming and food industries of Denmark including companies, trade and farmers’ associations.

Agriculture and food is Denmark’s largest competency cluster, employing some 120,000 people and exporting agricultural products, food and equipment to an annual value of around EUR 23 billion (2021), corresponding to 22 percent of total Danish export.

Figure 1 – The knowledge channels of the Danish AKIS.


AKIS Coordination Bodies

There has been established an AKIS Coordination Body in Denmark by The Danish Agricultural Agency
in the unit Green Development and New Knowledge. The Coordination Body is anchored in the research
part of team Research and Foundations. The team is part of the unit that is responsible for research,
Green Development and Demonstration Program, Plant Foundation and the agricultural funds. The Coordination Body will secure cooperation and coordination between the actors in AKIS, which is done
through funding of cooperation projects, etc. The contact person for the Commission and EIP Agri is Mr.
Bjarne Thomsen.


CAP Strategic Plan Priorities

Click here to know more about it!

Find the full AKIS country report here.

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June 28, 2023

Poland AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview

The AKIS system in Poland consists of many partners, including : administration, scientific units, schools, agricultural advisory, agricultural industry associations and organizations, non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs, including sellers of means for agricultural production .

A key role in the exchange of knowledge and innovation in agriculture is played by public agricultural advisory services, which, while carrying out its tasks, provide farmers with knowledge in various forms, e.g. by conducting trainings, demonstrations, presentations, providing consulting services, organizing fairs, exhibitions, competitions, publishing magazines or running websites.

It is planned to expand the activities of the Network for Innovation in Agriculture by broader involvement of public advisory services in the exchange of knowledge and innovation in cooperation with other partners and support for establishing cooperation between AKIS partners, facilitating the creation of EIP operational groups. In order to facilitate access to information and advisory services, it is also necessary to provide support for the use of ICT tools in agricultural advisory services.

The improvement of the AKIS system will also take into account the increasing importance of traditional, basic tasks and advisory forms, enriched with closer cooperation with agricultural universities, research institutes, agricultural schools and schools offering agricultural faculties, as well as enterprises.

Providing support mechanisms in order to encourage stronger links intensifying cooperation between individual AKIS partners, in particular within NRN+ and supporting EIP operational groups.

A key role in the process of knowledge exchange and strengthening cooperation between AKIS stakeholders is played by agricultural advisory units (Agricultural Advisory Center in Brwinów and 16 voivodship agricultural advisory centres), reporting to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, which carry out tasks in the field of training, advisory, dissemination and information activities for farmers.


AKIS Coordination Bodies

  • Please share information about the AKIS Coordination Body in your member state, including its role, composition, and responsibilities.

Due to the need to ensure coordination of activities to strengthen AKIS at the level of the PS CAP Managing Authority, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the tasks of the coordinating unit will be performed by the Strategy and Development Department.


CAP Strategic Plan Priorities

  • We would appreciate it if you could outline the top five priorities identified in your member state’s CAP strategic plan. These priorities can encompass various areas such as environmental sustainability, innovation, digitalization, rural development, or other key focus areas.
  1. Increasing market orientation and competitiveness, including a greater focus on research, technology and digitalization,
  2. Improving the position of farmers in the value chain
  3. Contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as sustainable energy production,
  4. Promoting sustainable development and efficient management of natural resources such as water, soil and air,
  5. Attracting young farmers and facilitating business development in rural areas.

Find the full AKIS country report here.

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June 26, 2023

Italy AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview

Italy has different interconnected AKIS at both national and regional levels. This situation largely reflects the variety, and complexity, of the both the administrative de-centralized system and the agroforestry sector and farming systems. The regions/autonomous provinces, in fact, have jurisdiction over agriculture, advisory services, education and vocational training; the general rules of school and university education, on the other hand, are the responsibility of the central state, while research is a matter of concurrent jurisdiction by national and regional levels. Furthermore, the of agroforestry sector and farming systems highly vary across Italy according to the manifold environmental, socio-economic and geomorphological features of Italian countryside. As a matter of fact, the Italian AKIS is a complex multilayered system, characterized by many entities and governance levels, a complex set of multi-level and inter-territorial interconnections, of countless actors that work on overlapping topics but with specific fields of expertise and areas of competency.

The degree of cooperation and integration varies deeply according to the typologies of actors involved, the Region they belong and the policy framework within they act. Certainly, generally speaking, cooperation for innovation interventions, as well as the national rural development network and innovation networks, have contributed to the development and/or the strengthening of relations among such different actors at local level and, in particular, between farmers and advisors on the one hand and the research world on the other. As well, at interregional level liaisons particularly, at institutional level and among research entities, universities, farmer-based organizations and farmers unions, seems to have been consolidated over time, through the implementation of the Rural development programs, and to have led to recurrent collaborations for innovations. Outside Rural Development policies, relationships capable of involving different actors along the knowledge supply chains are mostly project-based, with scarce long-term perspective.

Over time, the lack of coordination, although certainly inherent to the differences of the political and administrative contexts, has been increasingly addressed based on multi-level and interregional strategies and policy arrangements (e.g. interregional network for research, advisory and innovation, National rural network, the national plan for the agricultural research.

Figure 1 – AKIS diagram for Italy | Source: Cristiano et al., AKIS report Italy (i2connect project EU)


AKIS Coordination Bodies

AKIS coordination bodies are set up at National and Regional/Autonomous Provinces’ levels with the aim of: (i) fostering dialogue and interconnections between the different institutions; (ii) promoting the necessary functional relations the AKIS actors; (iii) facilitating the flow of information between the regional, national and European levels.  

The national AKIS Coordination body will be set up and chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry (MASAF). It will include, at least, representatives of Regions/Provinces, other relevant national institutions (Ministry of University and Research, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Energy Security), advisors, farmers and of other actors that are relevant for the coordination of the AKIS at national level.

At local level, the AKIS Coordination bodies will be chaired by Regions/Autonomous Provinces and composed by the entities that play functions relating to training, advisory services, research, information, digital services and others relevant activities in relation to the specificities of the competent territory. The main task of the Regional/Autonomous Provinces’ AKIS coordination bodies is to coordinate the definition and implementation of knowledge and innovation policies for the agrifood and forestry sector in respective territories; and this includes interfacing with ERDF and ESF managing authorities.

The National and Regional/Autonomous Provinces’ AKIS Co-ordinations will benefit from the collaboration of the formal Interregional Network of Agricultural Research Forestry, Aquaculture and Fisheries Research Network (officially recognized in 2001 by the Conference of Presidents of the Regions and Autonomous Provinces) to promote connections and networking between the Regions and Autonomous Provinces for the definition of European and national policies and programmes, the joint participation in initiatives of common interest (Technology Platforms etc.) and to highlight specific needs related to research and advisory activities to farms and territories.


CAP Strategic Plan Priorities

The CAP strategic plan highlights the following priorities:

The ecological transition of the agricultural, food and forestry sector. Approximately 10.7 billion euros, between pillars I and II, are earmarked for interventions with clear climate-environmental goals.

  • Organic agriculture and organic animal husbandry, strategic priorities of the Plan. The Plan recognizes the importance of organic farming as a privileged production technique for contributing to the achievement of all the envisaged environmental objectives; with this aim, approximately 2.0 billion euros are allocated to the sector over the five-year period as part of rural development.
  • Animal welfare for the relaunch of animal husbandry from a sustainable perspective. The relaunch of Italian animal husbandry and its competitiveness inevitably passes through great attention to sustainability. With this objective, a significant share of the resources for eco-schemes is dedicated to animal welfare and the reduction of the use of drugs in animal husbandry, to counter a real global health emergency, represented by antimicrobial resistance (about 1, 8 billion euros).
  • Income support system. A more equitable income support system is guaranteed through the progressive equalization of the level of income support which, taking the entire national territory as a reference, determines an important rebalancing in the allocation of direct payment resources, to the advantage of rural areas more marginal (intermediate and with development problems), as well as inland mountainous and hilly areas. At the same time, 10% of the national budget is allocated to redistributive support, focusing attention on small-medium companies.
  • The AKIS strategy aimed at strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability in the agrifood and forestry sector. In order to support agricultural and forestry farms in the adoption of more sustainable and innovative production techniques, the introduction of new technologies and digitization, an important effort has been made to overcome the diversification, the detachment of the knowledge system, propose more effective and foster greater integration between consultancy, training, information and operational teams for innovation.

The AKIS strategy includes the combination of 9 interventions, out of which 3 in the types relating to ‘Cooperation’ (art. 77) and 6 in those of ‘Knowledge and Information Exchange’ (art. 78); the total public expenditure envisaged is approximately 422.5 million euro.

AKIS-related types of interventions will be applied by a systemic and territorial approach, with the involvement of all the relevant AKIS actors, by focusing on:

  • to the synergistic implementation of interventions;
  • to cooperation among the different components of AKIS (consulting, training, research, enterprises, citizenship, Public Administration), so as to offer the farming systems more coherent tools between them;
  • to the Operational Groups of the PEI AGRI in a more participatory key with respect to the plurality AKIS actors, with particular reference to the advisory services;
  • to supporting the increase of competencies and capacities of all the AKIS operators;
  • to assign to the National Rural Network (NRN) the task facilitating knowledge flows based on networking activities.

AKIS interventions will be implemented at regional/provincial level and, when relevant, also, at national level.

Figure 2 – Types of AKIS interventions planned by Regional/Autonomous Provinces (N.) | Source: Ascione E., Ugati R., Vagnozzi A., PSRhub, May 2023

Figure 3 – Amount of resources (Million Euro) | Source: Ascione E., Ugati R., Vagnozzi A., PSRhub, May 2023

Find the full AKIS country report here.

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June 26, 2023

Slovakia AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview

The AKIS in Slovakia consists of diverse actors and organizations involved in the process of knowledge and innovation sharing in the sector of agriculture and rural development. The AKIS represents a fragmented system with an existing structure. Components of the structure lack the interconnection, synergies and coordination.

Figure 1 – Structure of the AKIS in Slovakia, source: i2connect report

The new CAP Strategic Plan foresees a new AKIS structure, which aims to achieve an efficient and coordinated interconnection of the AKIS components. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic (MOARD) plays the role of the managing authority in the AKIS system and implements the CAP Strategic Plan. MOARD oversees compliance with the principles of the Strategic Plan, guarantees support for education and advisory service. According to the Strategic Plan, MOARD, together with the new Competence Centre (Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Institute), will establish the AKIS Coordinating body.

Figure 2 – The new AKIS structure, source: CAP Strategic Plan

The Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Institute as departmental educational establishment of MOARD provides continuing vocational education and training for workers in the agricultural sector, elaborates departmental concepts and plans of continuing education in specific education programs and modules, carries out educational projects at national and international level. Provides professional training and certification of vocational skills of agricultural advisors, issues certificates of vocational training, manages the Central Registry of Agricultural Advisors of the Slovak Republic for Agriculture and Forestry, develops and carries on an information system for advisory services.

Key stakeholders:

  • Public sector,
  • Researchers/Research organizations,
  • Chambers and associations,
  • Universities,
  • Advisors,
  • NGOs,
  • Private sector

AKIS Coordination Bodies

In order to ensure the link between the actors involved in the AKIS, MOARD will establish and chair the AKIS Steering Committee.

Members of the Committee:

  • Representatives of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Institute (as a
    secretary of the Committee),
  • The research sector (higher education, universities, research institutes),educational institutions,
  • Relevant state and public administration bodies,
  • Representatives of professional organizations, EIP Operational Groups and
    representatives of the EIP network,
  • Representatives of the non-profit sector,
  • Advisors,
  • Farmers/organizations representing farmers (chambers, associations, etc.)

CAP Strategic Plan Priorities

The main challenge of Slovak agriculture is to ensure healthy and quality food. The CAP Strategic Plan puts emphasis on improving animal welfare and health and on a sustainable competitiveness and resilience of farms. Slovakia will invest in irrigation and water retention measures to adapt agriculture to climate change. The CAP Strategic Plan will support the growth of organic farming and reducing the risk from pesticide use. An important aspect of the CAP Strategic Plan is to improve cooperation between farmers and foresters with experts from research institutions and universities. Slovakia’s strategy is aimed at ensuring a fairer income for agricultural producers with special attention to small and young farmers. At the same time, the Plan also focuses on improving the protection of natural resources and the climate. It contributes substantially to improving the vitality and quality of life in rural areas through investments, knowledge transfer and innovation.

Find the full AKIS country report here.

Other news

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.

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