Fostering Agriculture Rural Development and Land Management-FARM is the newest Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships project signed by Inter-Edu which will start its implementation this November. The project is funded by the German National Agency and will be coordinated by the Harz University of Applied Sciences in Germany, and implemented in a period of twenty-six months together with Inter-Edu from North Macedonia, Technical University of Cartagena from Spain, University of Cyprus from Cyprus and Vytautas Magnus University from Lithuania.
The primary challenge of FARM project is to boost knowledge and technology transfer in the agricultural sector. FARM is focused on innovative approaches to knowledge exchange that will be taking advantage of new digital technologies, and will be based on synergies between information management and communication for development. Its objective is to contribute to Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) by bringing relevant expertise and resources across the international community into a more coherent and systematic approach. In order to contribute to the improvement in ARD, FARM project defines four intellectual outputs for introduction, popularization and application of the current ICT DSS tools in ARD, but also designing and developing the prototypes of two new tools as well as training course materials in ARD based on the DSS recognized and with a focus on green skills.
The scope of the project is on a systematic overview of existing ICT DSS tools in ARD that support crop farming, precision livestock farming, climate and quality control and farm management. A special focus should be on spatial DSS because spatial information is indispensable in the agricultural sector, and regional planning in general. Most information that is needed for problems of rural development are focused on geo-located points, lines, places, areas or other entities. Therefore, software services for the collection, analysis and visualistaion of spatial data can effectively support decision-making processes among different stakeholders. Based on such a systematically derived overview, existing gaps will be identified and filled by developing new training materials as well as two DSS prototypes for specific purposes referring to the FARM focus. The project activities are aimed at and tailored according to the needs of the target group such as ARD experts, trainers and policy makers, researchers, academic staff, students, farmers, development practitioners, as well skilled and unskilled adult and other members of vulnerable groups.
FARM resembles a unique project which is innovative in its nature with a direct impact on linking the Higher Education and ARD and contributing to the development of rural areas and socio-economic prosperity.