EIP-AGRI Seminar “CAP Strategic Plans: the key role of AKIS in Member States”

From 16-18 September, the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) held an online seminar about the development of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) as part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plans post 2020. The seminar was organised together with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and attended by over 150 participants.

IFOAM Organics Europe provided input on the discussion topics beforehand and participated in the three-day seminar. To achieve the Farm to Fork targets, including 25% organic land in Europe by 2030, it is crucial that the CAP Strategic Plans make the link to the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy of the European Commission. The EIP-AGRI network will be part of the single European CAP Network. It was stressed repeatedly throughout the seminar that the European Commission wants to combine CAP and Horizon Europe objectives, systematically interlinking people and projects.

IFOAM Organics Europe calls on Member States to introduce a national target for organic land in their CAP Strategic Plans, to describe the relevant policy mix to increase production and demand for organic products and to ensure independent and well-funded AKIS, geared towards agroecology. Participatory methodologies which empower and engage all potential AKIS actors are key to co-design a common understanding and vision. All types of farming should be represented in the AKIS coordination body, including organic farming, in particular with regards to the 25% organic farmland target of the Farm to Fork strategy.

The participants of the seminar largely agreed that the main benefit of well-functioning AKIS lies in developing more holistic solutions for farmers, and that the future role of advisors consists in giving holistic advice according to farmers’ needs, while picking up good ideas and opportunities. Likewise, advisors can build the bridge between CAP and Horizon Europe as innovation support services. The seminar provided concrete examples from different European countries and also introduced the EURAKNOS and EUREKA projects that are making the increasing volume of practice-oriented agricultural knowledge easily accessible, interactive and attractive. IFOAM Organics Europe is a partner in both projects. Presentations will be available on the event webpage.

Improving Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) supporting farmers ©EIP-AGRI

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