The definition of the word Synergy is ‘the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.’ In this chapter we highlight the synergy between SmartAgriHubs and another Horizon2020 project, this time it is NEFERTITI. We asked them a few questions to find out how together we can have a greater effect than on our own.
How does NEFERTITI connect with the Smart Agri Hubs project?
Yes of course. Under the project NEFERTITI, 10 interactive thematic networks will be established bringing together 45 regional clusters (hubs) of demo-farmers and actors (advisors, NGOs, industry, education, researchers and policy makers) involved in 17 countries. The project NEFERTITI focuses on creating added value from the exchange of knowledge and technical content between networks, farmers and innovation actors in order to boost innovation uptake and to improve peer to peer learning and network connectivity between farming actors across Europe. In the end, it all contributes to a more competitive, sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.
The project NEFERTITI addresses 10 themes that have been chosen based on key concerns of the farming communities. Together they cover a balanced range of topics in the three main agricultural sectors: animal production, arable farming and horticultural production.
A monitoring and learning program supports the systematic extraction of lessons learnt, lessons to be shared with wide audiences including AKIS (Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation Systems) actors and public authorities. A web based platform unlocks the experience, demo details and the related content for widespread sharing, enhanced by the dedicated production of relevant material (including videos) in each partner’s language. NEFERTITI will engage a policy dialogue with EU Regions and national authorities to meet farmers and policy makers’ interests in view of the networks’ sustainability.
Where do you see opportunities for (more) synergy between the projects?
Future partnership between both projects could lead to the connectivity between actors of both projects in targeted geographical areas in view of demonstrating relevant innovations in the AG Tech sector. Indeed, as NEFERTITI aims to demonstrate practical knowledge and solution to boost its uptake among the farming sector through demonstrating best practices, synergies with SAH could constitute a win-win situation: Efficient demonstration of relevant digital knowledge towards actors of both communities.
This issue is about arable farming. What are the biggest topics that you are addressing in the arable sector?
NEFERTITI has three networks that focus on arable farming:
Optimal soil quality in arable crops
This network focusses on demonstration of best practices of soil management in arable crop rotations, including highly mechanized vegetable crops like potatoes and crops grown for the processing industry. The demo-activities concern proven and economically balanced techniques and practices with high potential to improve the agronomic and societal soil services for the short and the long term.
Crop sensing and variable rate applications
On several demonstration farms Precision Agriculture applications will be shown, focussing on informing colleague farmers on the added value in term of €€, production quantity and quality, environmental impact, investments needed and user friendliness of the application. The objective of the demonstrations will be to improve the uptake of precision technologies amongst arable farmers and to organize feedback from farmers to research and commercial organizations to increase the uptake and impact of these technologies.
Increasing productivity and quality in organic arable cropping
There is a need, but also a clear possibility, to improve farm yields in organic arable cropping. The network will promote exchange of knowledge among farmers, farm advisers, and scientists across Europe to foster the uptake of solutions that increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping. The demonstration activities focus on five themes: Soil quality and fertility; Nutrient management; Pest and disease control; Weed management, and Crop-specific challenges. The solutions are scientifically sound, accepted by farmers and embedded in organic farming systems.