Title New Advisers
Project Number 2011-FR1-LE005-24388
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
In Europe, over 5,000 advisers and trainers are involved in agricultural and environmental issues working with food producers and students. However many of them are currently experiencing a blurring of their professional identity. They must continually update their knowledge, develop a systemic approach to farming, and separate the administrative from the relational requirements. Their professional status varies greatly among countries; a process of normalisation of this status doesn't seem possible for the moment and we should concentrate on improving professionalisation and adaptability within the job.
The project called ‘New Advisers', which was funded by Leonardo da Vinci, involved eight countries and two transnational advisers’ networks. With an emphasis on the issue of reducing pesticides, it has allowe the identification and transfer of some effective agronomic methods for advisers and trainers.
The recent inclusion of agro-ecology requires new skills from advisers and trainers. From a dynamic point of view, the adaptation and expansion of skills should be promoted by the internal diversity of technical teams and by the involvement of advisers in new channels and networks (ICT, peer groups, etc.). To increase effectiveness of advisors and trainers, greater value should be given to individual points of view (farmer, other stakeholders) and creativity and self-trust should be encouraged.
European policies could strengthen the cross-compliance regulation and may substantially change the Farm Advisory Services (FAS). From this perspective, transnational projects on adapting the skills deployed by the agricultural advisory is necessary. ‘New Advisers’ was a mixed project which joined the goal of reducing pesticide, updating agronomic advice and training and connecting to other disciplines such as ergonomics, agro-economy, sociology of organisations, etc.
In order to equip trainers and advisers with renewed tools and methods, declinable to different publics (beneficiaries or customers), and local situations, experiments were implemented in the eight partner countries: Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Slovenia and France.
In the eight partner countries, advisers themselves tested identical tools to solve agronomic problem-situations. Each partner examined thier own advisory methods, and their own specific problems that they meet. Successful transmission is achieved through practice, examples and testimonies: "Learning by doing" as much as through theory. The process is similiar to one of a group of farmers, who work together for the reconstruction of their crop systems while reducing pesticides. In the New Advisers project, it was the advisers and their agencies themselves who had to recompose their own practices.
This project organised and gave value to some transfers between countries and organisations.
All of the results can be found on the Adam site, there are docuements on analytical theory, practical guides and videos tutorials which can act as advisory tools. co-construction techniques are extremely important within all of these tools. Another type of result, perhaps a less visible one, is the multiple connections made at European and national levels, facilitating the setting-up of future transfer projects or cooperation initiatives.
There were two main steps in New Advisers project:
1. Spring 2012, the ‘experiment’ started with some innovative methods and tools (as Discussion group, Problem-based learning, Clear vision, Forum theatre, etc.), in the eight partner countries. This experimentation and subsequent evaluation let us observe how advisers use and develop their expertise and skills, how they access scientific knowledgeand information chains and the reassurances of giving quality advice.
2. Spring to September 2013, results were released by the national networks (Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Slovenia, and France) and the transnational (Chambers of Agriculture in Europe, IALB) to member states of the Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe.
The pedagogical gains were proven by the validation and transfer of the innovative training tools and the dissemination of practices by"learning by doing". This methodological investment also gave us some indications of how to improve access for advisers to scientific and technical resources.
Technical cooperation is gradually taking place with the EU project ENDURE, which has accepted to share its work on advisory for integrated farming. Moreover, the technical results of New Advisers were published regularly on the site ENDURE throughout the project and will remain available. The site is provided by the French Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA)
Utilization and distribution of results
Recognition, transparency, certification
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
material for open learning
description of new occupation profiles
The main outcomes are focused on skills, tools and means to progress through learning by doing:
1 - Description of activities and key skills for advisers in agronomy
2 - 4 video tutorials 3 min each, subtitled in 8 languages, about 3 tools tested, and the concept of problem situation.
3- Identification of scientific and technical resources used by agricultural advisers on phytosanitary thematic and evolution of farming systems.
4 - Testimonies and analysis on acquiring new skills and learning new tools are available on the website Adam and via the site Endure at http://www.endure-network.eu/fr/nouvelles/new_advisers/outcomes_from_the_new_advisers_leonardo_project