InfOrganic 2020-2022

Status
Ongoing
Cooperation partners
Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment; Moldova Organic Value Chain Alliance (MOVCA), EcoVisio, People in Need
Implementation Agency
Association Education for Development (AED)
Duration
06.02.2020 – 05.02.2023
Budget
€ 618‘567
Small and medium size farmers, organic agriculture NGOs, advisors, anyone interested in sustainable production methods

Project Summary:

Previous projects on Agriculture Education funded by LED revealed gaps in the pool of knowledge and expertise in sustainable agriculture methods and farming practices. The external evaluation by Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Switzerland in 2018 confirmed that Moldova’s organic agriculture sector is still in a very early stage, even compared to Moldova’s neighbours. In 2018, the total organic agricultural land registered in Moldovan was 17 746 ha (10 175.5 ha fully converted and 7 471,5 ha in-conversion) and a number of 138 organic producers (including smallholder farmers) was documented. Yet, worldwide there is a growing number of farmers who are moving towards a farming system that is more sustainable—environmentally, economically, and socially. This system has room for farms of all sizes, producing a diverse range of foods, fibers, and fuels adapted to local conditions and regional markets. It uses sustainable agriculture methods and farming practices that maximise productivity and profit while minimising environmental damage. Furthermore, evidence shows that a more sustainable model can be just as profitable—and can meet our needs for the long haul.

This project started in 2019 with a one-year pilot phase (InfOrganic). During this pilot year, activities were carried out to inform, create and disseminate information materials for organic agriculture sector via different instruments and media. The emergent findings fed into the design of the full project InfOrganic 2020-2022.The aim is to shift the attention to people already working in agriculture, including advisors, organic farmers, small farmers or low-income families who want to learn  about and practice organic agriculture and to increase the sustainability of their farming practice, to increase their income and food quality for their children based on the family garden or land.

InfOrganic 2020-2022 aims to strengthen the key stakeholders in organic agriculture and to provide information on organic farming practices. The project will contribute to improving the organic sector cooperation and to reaching a joint agreement with the main stakeholders on a common information exchange via Organic Agriculture Quarterly Round Tables. The produced materials will be shared openly on one central channel (besides the individual websites) - on the main national agriculture online portal Agrobiznes on a special created web-page called “AgroEco” (https://agrobiznes.md/agroeco).

Farmers interested in organic agriculture will benefit from relevant information on sustainable farming practices. One of the main project activities will be to produce practice-oriented information materials and make them available in various forms (text, audio, video, infographics, technological flow charts, pocket cards). FiBL experts will guide InfOrganic and local experts in translating and adapting of the jointly selected FiBL’s brochures and videos to the Moldovan context. In cooperation with the experts F2F the project will complement with the elaboration of pocket cards, technological flow charts, infographics together with the Moldovan experts and partners in designing and preparing educational materials for farmers.

Furthermore, InfOrganic will have an local expert panel to guide and offer feedback on the produced materials which will be complemented with a small program (participation in conference, forum, fairs, training etc.) for the key Moldovan experts / pioneers. The dissemination and outreach to the farmers of the printed elaborated materials will be done within the national campaign to promote and to raise the awareness of organic produces among local consumers.

Project Outcome:

  • There is one main online platform with relevant information on organic agriculture.

Expected Outputs:

1. Existing information materials are pooled and shared.

2. Relevant, complementing info materials are produced.

3. Information materials are publicly accessible and disseminated.

4. Further strengthening of national expertise in organic agriculture involved in the development of materials.

InfOrganic

Status
Completed
Duration
01.01.2019 – 31.12.2019
Cooperation partners
Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment (MARDE); Moldova Organic Value Chain Alliance (MOVCA), EcoVisio, People in Need (PIN)
Implementation Agency
Association Education for Development (AED)
Centre of Excellence in Horticulture and Agricultural Technology, Taul (CEHTA)
Budget
129’941 €

Project Summary:

The planned interventions will be focused on two target areas:

Target Area 1: Enhance formal education in agriculture. LED has supported the Centre of Excellence CEHTA for several years (EdAgri Project Phase I-II). At this stage, LED will continue being a partner of CEHTA with the aim of capitalizing on the previous investments to further empower teachers and students to engage in practice-oriented education. Teachers will get support to conduct small group assignments, making use of the demo plots, greenhouse and other production-related assets available. Ideally, the group assignments will include topics on organic agriculture and will use an interdisciplinary approach. 

Target Area 2: Enriching the information base on organic production and strengthening the capacity of the key stakeholders in organic agriculture. To achieve this goal, the project will adopt a flexible approach to provide through a grant scheme demand- and opportunity-oriented funds. Moldova’s organic agriculture sector is still in a very early stage. InfOrganic project will explore the availability of useful information for organic farmers and whether the use of digital tools is meaningful to complement the existing informational platforms. One of the main activities will be then to produce more information materials and make them available. Materials will have various forms (text, audio, video, presentations) and must be tailored to the farmers need. Therefore, the information will be short and to the point. Experiences of the local farmers will form an important source, too. 

InfOrganic starts with a one-year pilot phase, during which:

  • A: the cooperation and commitment of the Centre of Excellence CEHAT is piloted;

  • B: the coordination among the actors and first activities for collecting and developing information are implemented.

Based on the experience of this first year, the project will develop a three-year plan to extend its activities.


Project Outcome:

  • A. The education offer for horticulture students in the Centre of Excellence in Horticulture and Agriculture (CEHTA) is more practice-oriented and relevant.

  • B. Information base on the methods  of organic production is enriched; the capacity of key stakeholders in organic agriculture is strengthened.

Expected Outputs:

  • A1. CEHTA implements hands-on learning activities for horticulture students, capitalizing on their demo-plots and the two greenhouses.

  • A2. The practical work in horticulture is used for interdisciplinary learning.

  • B1. There is a mapping of the key actors in organic agriculture with the aim of engaging them into the development and dissemination of the resources on organic production.

  • B2. A need-analysis of the required resources for organic farmers is conducted.

  • B3. Existing information on organic agriculture is pooled and complemented according to the demand.

  • B4. Organic farmers know about the information offers and use them widely.

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