Meeting of Farmbox partners

On 2023-02-07 a remote meeting of Farmbox partners was held with the participation of representatives of the Lithuanian Chamber of Agriculture (LCA). The aim of the meeting was to briefly discuss how all project partners are progressing in the development of the educational content and the implementation of other project activities. The meeting focused on the integration of the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) simulator into the training course, as well as on the content of the advanced course.

The EAA participates in the Erasmus+ international project “Farmers’ Toolbox for Climate Change Mitigation” (FarmBox). The project involves cooperation with the University of Padua (Italy), the OIKOS Institute (Italy), UptoEarth GmbH (Germany), and the vocational training school “IKASTEGIA TXORIERRI” (Spain).

Development of the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) simulator

The Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Simulator presents alternative scenarios for the management of agricultural land, describing current management practices and alternative future management scenarios.

The tool is aimed at future farmers, students, expert farmers, farmers’ associations and organisations who want to acquire skills related to climate-smart farming or to improve their farming competences and test them in a virtual environment.

It is a suitable teaching/learning tool that offers simulation-based training and increases the confidence of teachers and learners in agri-tech. The simulator will also be used as a forecasting and management tool for learners and farmers to test project-based learning.

Based on the competences and the topics/subtopics for the extended course, partners from all countries have identified a list of potential variables and datasets to be tested in the online simulator. The advanced course will cover topics such as precision farming, biodiversity, climate change mitigation, agricultural planning and management, etc.  Representatives of the Lithuanian Chamber of Agriculture will develop the training material on sustainable farming, involving competent consultants.

During the meeting, the project partners UptoEarth GmbH (Germany) presented the databases that will be included in the simulator and integrated into the learning material.

Beginners’ course

During the meeting, the demo version of the Beginners’ Course training material was briefly reviewed and demonstrated. The content of the Beginner’s Course is now fully developed and is being uploaded to the EduOpen platform, and by the end of February the video lessons and interviews will be uploaded by the project partners to a YouTube channel and then to the EduOpen platform. Testing of the beginners’ course will start in early March.

Advanced course

During the meeting, the partners shared the available training content, which should be finalised by the second half of March. It was decided to use the same templates and standards as for the beginners’ course. The only template that will be changed is the introductory video, for which a template will be created using a different format.

General discussion on the continuation of the project

Considering the slight delay that affected the project due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all partners agreed to ask the National Agency to extend the project by one month to allow for the finalisation of the content and the proper organisation of the project publicity events. The request for the extension of the project has now been submitted and the reply from the National Agency is awaited.

Who is the target group of FarmBox?

It is expected that the training content and the simulator will strengthen the capacity of trainers to develop innovative farming knowledge, methods and practices using critical climate scenarios (scenario-based approach) and increase the competence of students and farmers in climate change adaptation practices (soil and water management, climate resilient crops, etc.). The use of open digital practices will increase the confidence of trainers and users in digital tools, especially in the agricultural sector, and broaden the dissemination of information internationally.