June 23, 2023

Netherlands AKIS | Updates on the different AKIS

AKIS Overview
A SWOT analysis has been carried out for the National Strategic Plan CAP for the AKIS in the Netherlands. The strong points are:

  • The AKIS is well developed and diverse, with short lines between research and industry.
  • There is a wide variety of public and private advisers and intermediaries in it
  • Network integrated.
  • The average previous education of Dutch farmers is higher than the EU average.
  • There is much equal knowledge development in the networks aimed at innovation (EIP), rural development (LEADER) and agricultural nature management (the Collectives)

The points of improvement of AKIS in NL:

  1. The AKIS in the Netherlands is highly fragmented. There are many actors in the AKIS who have few mutual connections. One result of this fragmentation is that knowledge does not flow well, parties are not aware of each other’s projects and the same innovations are developed in different places. This is inefficient and, as a result, crucial knowledge and innovation sometimes does not reach all parties.
  2. One of the main challenges is to apply the developed knowledge more quickly. For this, it is important that knowledge is connected with each other, is offered to practitioners in an accessible way and is made easy to find.
  3. Advisors are indispensable in a well-functioning AKIS. The agricultural consultancy landscape in the Netherlands is highly fragmented, but differs from other European countries in that it has a relatively high level of knowledge, is innovative, has a complex environment and is connected to the world of research and education. However, it is separate.
  4. A specific issue concerns the impartiality of the adviser. The quality assurance and independence/ impartiality of advisers is regulated in the Business Advisory System (BAS). It is important to also include the dependent or commercial advisor. These are often an important source of information for the farmer.

AKIS Coordination Bodies
The ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) is as Managing Authority the AKIS Coordination Body. As delegated AKIS Coordination Body, the NSU carries out the activities to strengthen the AKIS in NL. That is also the reason why the NSU is a partner in modernAKIS at the request of the Ministry.

In the field of knowledge and innovation, the NSU carries out the following activities as part of the GLB Steering Organization (Regieorganisatie GLB):

  1. Stimulating the use of and access to knowledge and innovation measures within the NSP
  2. Providing overviews: Operational Groups and knowledge projects are visualized for the own and EU database. Overview of relevant players and initiatives (including trial and demo companies and field labs) in the AKIS.
  3. Connecting Operational Groups with EU and national research projects; with Thematic Networks and Focus Groups
  4. Knowledge dissemination: storing results of OGs on Groen Kennisnet and EU Farmbook
  5. Monitoring & Evaluation: monitoring the development of the AKIS and reporting on the state of affairs of the AKIS
  6. Fulfilling our role regarding impartiality and competence development of both impartial and commercial organizations (suppliers and buyers).
  7. Raising AKIS issues in the National Assembly (Werkplaats Netwerk Platteland)

CAP Strategic Plan Priorities
The CAP strategic plan has highlighted the following (10) priorities:

National implementation of ModernAKIS

In the Netherlands, various Communities of Practice (CoP) can be distinguished in the AKIS system, such as organic agriculture, agricultural water management, collaboration between arable farming and livestock farming and short food supply chains. We will use a selection of these within modernAKIS. We also focus on the overarching system. In this umbrella, the various CoPs can communicate with and learn from each other. With the aim of better understanding the AKIS and to investigate which steps can be taken towards a less fragmented AKIS system. (e.g. cross-links between CoPs), independence and competence development of advisers and strengthening the transfer of knowledge to practice.

An AKIS working group will be formed for our AKIS activities, including modernAKIS. This can be
seen as an umbrella over the thematic CoPs. The working group has a direct relationship with the
national Werkplaats GLB. The working group includes representatives from the various parts of AKIS:
research, advice, education, chain parties, NGOs and representatives of the thematic CoPs. The latter
are the approximately 7 key persons for the implementation of the national activities for
modernAKIS. Among other things, the AKIS working group discusses:

  • What do the CoPs look like and what are the strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do we learn from the CoPs and how can we facilitate them?
  • Investigate the steps we need to take to improve the AKIS in NL and what is needed for this
    The members of the AKIS working group carry out various activities on behalf of the NSU:
  • They are a think tank for the strengthening of AKIS and the choice of the CoPs.
  • At our request, they participate in modernAKIS meetings and provide input through
  • They contribute to the national meeting and consultations (including workshops) organized by
    the NSU around AKIS. They do this, among other things, through presentations about CoPs.
    They are rewarded for the costs they incur for this (including the preparation).

Find the full AKIS country report here.

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