ACTA
 
Networking European Farms to Enhance cRoss ferTilisation and Innovation uptake Through demonstratIon
 
 
Newsletter #3             
                                   
                                                      
October 2020
 
 
Foreword
Adrien Guichaoua
Dear readers, as coordinator of NEFERTITI, it is a great pleasure to send you the third Newsletter of the project.

As Nefertiti project aims to gather and connect farm practitioners all over Europe, 2020 have definitely been a very complicated year for the project implementation and the networking activities.
Nevertheless, innovation and good practices often arise in response to crises. In order to keep the flow of knowledge exchange in the 10 thematic networks, the project quickly developed some Guidelines and best practices on Virtual Demonstration. This allowed most of our demonstration hubs to maintain the relationships and to keep cross fertilising together with their local communities during the containment.
Obviously, some activities (and especially cross-border visits) have been cancelled across the past months but the project partners provided a lot of efforts to maintain a high level of activities, through Virtual demos, the capacity to organise physical demos anew from the end of the spring and other activities fostering knowledge exchanges among hubs, networks, actors and farmers.
I hope this newsletter will attract a lot of interest and that you will find inspiration for your own activities.


I wish you a pleasant reading!
 
Adrien Guichaoua
Project Coordinator
Short description of NEFERTITI project
The Project “Networking European Farms to Enhance Cross Fertilisation and Innovation Uptake Through demonstration”  (NEFERTITI) is a unique Network (selected under Horizon 2020, Societal Challenge 2, RUR 12-2017 call) comprising 32 partners and coordinated by ACTA, the head of Network of the French Agricultural Technical Institutes. The project duration is 4 years, from the 1st January 2018 to the 31st December 2021.
2019 annual demo campaign report in all languages
 
The Summary report on the first NEFERTITI on Farm Demo Campaign was developed in February 2020.T he main results are the following:
  • 267 demonstration events focused on the 10 thematic of the networks;
  • 12.000 participants in Nefertiti Events;
  • 71 % of the event took place on a commercial farm;
  • the innovations presented and demonstrated during demo events come from research (38%), farmers (36%) and supply chain company (26%).
The translation of the report in all the languages of the project (Bulgarian; Croatian; Dutch; Finnish; French; Hungarian; Italian; Polish; Portuguese; Serbian; Spanish, English and German) has also been realized. The reports on all languages are available on the NEFERTITI website.
 
New Hubs and extension of NEFERTITI Networks
The Nefertiti Networks are yet open-up to other hubs and countries that are not included in the project.

What Nefertiti can offer to new hubs?
• A Farm Demo platform, to help them build a EU wide network;
• A guide on how to set up a hub of demo farms;
• A training kit on farm demo procedures and best practices;
• A diversity of information material, including videos, infos sheet and practice abstracts;
• Participation in Nefertiti meetings and knowledge exchange sessions;
• Online visibility on the Nefertitiplatform and web / social media channels.
 
More information
 
New Hubs con register on the project platform here:
 
 
Registration
 
Cross visit for farmers
 
A NEFERTITI Cross-Visit is a “cross border demonstration” gathering the manager of the demonstration hubs and the demo-farmers of a given network. For 2 days, participants attend 2 /3 demonstrations events and exchange technical knowledge as well as demonstration knowledge to learn about new farming practices from other countries, contexts and AKIS (Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation Systems).
Up to now, 8 Cross Visits were organized in 5 countries during summer and autumn in year 2019. 28 Demonstration events were organized trouagh the Cross Visits. Participants to the Cross-Visits were 169 (20 in average). 48 European farmers traveled across Europe to participate to Cross Visits.
 
 
Testimony of Guido Lammerant on the cross visit of NW4 to Poland
 
"By visiting a farm in Poland, I had the opportunity to exchange knowledge on how a good soil quality supports the storage of ground water during drought periods to reach high yields. The host farmer developed his own machinery to apply fertilization in rows deep into the soil. He was very proud to talk about it and enjoyed to exchange experience."
Guido Lammerant is a Flemish arable farmer – a member of Hub Belgium under Network 4 Optimal soil quality in arable crops.
 
At the end of September 2020, 55 videos have been realized and are available on the FarmDemo YouTube Channel. 
They are divided in different playlists – according to the topic of the 10 NEFERTITI thematic network and according to the original and translated language of the multimedia material.
 
 

Most of the videos are available (original language and/or subtitles) in the most popular and most used European languages – English, German, French and Spanish. Eleven videos were translated in all project actor languages (Bulgarian; Croatian; Dutch; Finnish; French; Hungarian; Italian; Polish; Portuguese; Serbian; Spanish; English; and German).
 
 
Innovative grazing - All-season grazing in Brandenburg (Paul Costello farm)
 
Video #1
Precision livestock farming: Lely - Isagri - Grunderco - DeLaval - Alptracker - Medria - Quanturi
 
Video #2
The OBSALIM Method: Feeding Evaluation on ruminants
 
Video #3
Planting vegetable seedlings mechanically in a mulch cover with the Mulchtec-Planter
 
Video #4
Farmstar - Satellites for agriculture
 
Video #5
Experience with the Farmdroid FD20 field robot: Sowing and in-row weeding of sugar beet
 
Video #6
New techniques to control the supply of water and nutrients to crops in greenhouses
 
Video #7
Efficient Water Use Management in the Alentejo Region, Portugal
 
Video #8
Electrical weed control – The ElectroHerb from Zasso
 
Video #9
Farm attractiveness event for agricultural science students at Karol Kissane's farm (Kerry, Ireland)
 
Video #10
How to increase interaction at farm demo events?
 
Video #11
 
The translation of multimedia materials will continue up to end of the project.
 
The webinar “How to produce your own farm video to enhance knowledge exchange”
 
The webinar: “How to produce your own farm video to enhance knowledge exchange” have been organized under NEFERTITI project on July 09, 2020, from 10.30 AM to 12.00 PM (CET), ONLINE.

The presenter, Thomas Alföldi from FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) presented how to produce low-budget audio-visual material for Research and Innovation projects in the field of agriculture.

In this webinar, Thomas demonstrated affordable equipment for realising good quality videos. He shared his experience of what to consider when planning, filming and editing videos.
You can find more information of the event (including video record and presentations) here:
 
Virtual demos experiences
Due to the COVID19 measures all across Europe and in order to keep the network and the bubs activities alive, the focus in the hubs had to shift from on-farm demonstrations to virtual demonstrations.
Thus, the project developed some Guidelines for Virtual demonstrations containing information on the definition of virtual demonstration event, the different steps for an efficient preparation, realization and evaluation of the virtual demonstration events. The hubs coaches embrace the concept of Virtual Demos as around 60 virtual and online demo events have allready been organized from March to September 2020.
The guidelines for Virtual Demonstration can be downloaded here:
 
Guideline
 
You can also download the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on virtual demonstrations here :
 
 
FAQ
 
 
Testimonies of NEFERTITI hub coaches from Ireland and Bulgaria on virtual demo events:
 
"Virtual events replace on-farm demos in Ireland"
John Moriarty - Hub Coach
 
 
TEAGASC
Ireland
Network 1. Grassland and Carbon Sequestration
Network 10. You can Farm: Farm attractivity for new entrants
 
COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation of all on-farm events and farm-walk from March 2020 in Ireland. Virtual events were developed to replace the on-farm demos planned for the NEFERTITI project in 2020.
 
 
 
The first virtual events planned were two social media takeovers organized for Network 10. These were two hugely successful events held on May 27th and June 3rd where dairy farmers Kieran McDermott and Ed Payne took control of the Teagasc Instagram account for a day. Both farmers outlined their daily routines, their careers to date and fielded questions from followers. Posts achieved from 1 100 up to 3 300 views, while a live Q&A with Ed Payne and his wife Jennifer has so far achieved over 2 100 views on Instagram TV. Featuring two farmers one week apart saw an increase in viewer numbers from one takeover to the next. Selection of the platform and account to use was critical to the success of the social media takeovers. In this instance the target was younger people who may consider a career in agriculture so Instagram was chosen as the platform and the Teagasc account which has over 8 000 followers was used.

Zoom webinars have also been utilized for both Network 10 and for Network 1 Grassland and Carbon Sequestration. Webinars have been highly successful in bringing speakers and audiences from a wide geographical area together. A Farm Attractiveness webinar run in conjunction with the “Let’s Talk Dairy” webinar series featured speakers from four locations and an audience from fight across Ireland. Another webinar run for Network 1 featured researchers from two different centers without the need to travel. The use of video links has increased the availability of expert speakers to contribute to events.

Here are my conclusions and recommendations from held virtual demo events:
  • When organizing social media takeovers farmers who contribute are being asked to do a large amount of work compared to a farmer hosting an on-farm demo.
  • There are many webinars on a variety of topics available to farmers, so it is necessary to make your webinar unique and relevant to farmers.
  • If organizing social media takeovers careful consideration needs to be given to the platform used (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and the account used (e.g. Teagasc Instagram has more than 8,000 followers).
  • The participants need to be open about their experiences and willing to engage with the audience.
 
"Virtual demo events are also attractive for farmers and advisors"
Petya Kumanova - Hub Coach
 

NAAS
Bulgaria
Network 7. Improved nutrient use efficiency in horticulture
The Bulgarian Hub of the Network 7 held two virtual demo events in the form of webinars. One webinar focused on “The impact of mineral nutrition on food quality and human health. Good practices and innovations in the use of potassium and magnesium in field vegetables”. The Second webinar focused on “Features of growing non-traditional vegetable crops - specificities of fertilization and planting schemes”.
The virtual demo events generated great interest among farmers and advisors. More than 50 participants attended the first event, and about 40 the second one.
 
Both Virtual Demos were recorded, and have been uploaded on the YouTube channel of the Bulgarian Agricultural Advisory Service. By this way farmers, advisors and other people who couldn’t attend the webinar can get acquainted later on with the topics discussed during the Webinar (more than 900 people watched the video).
 
Before the second virtual demo event, NAAS Team visited the Institute of Vegetable Crops and made some photos and video that have been presented during the webinar. In addition the organisation gave the opportunity to the participants to ask questions in advance (during the registration) so the lecturers had enough time to prepare relevant answers and to present them in detail.
 
Nevertheless, we faced some difficulties in organising the virtual demo events. For example, the videos live-broadcasted through the Zoom platform, were displayed very slowly and with bad quality.

I would like to recommend, when organizing a virtual demo events through the online platform, to test the virtual event on the platform together with lectures and moderators at least one day before in advance in order to minimize the risks and problems during the live event.
 
NEFERTITI EIP-AGRI ''practice abstracts''
The first set of 45 Practice Abstracts (one for each hub in NEFERTITI Networks) have been developed. They are intended to communicate a short summary of some practical information or recommendation that has been observed or developed during the lifetime of a NEFERTITI project. The EIP Practice Abstracts focus on the most relevant for farmers, farm advisers and other related practitioners. Nevertheless, they also aim to be interesting, accessible and understandable to a broader audience.
You could find and read them all here:
 
Practice Abstracts
State of the art of 2020 activities
 
The development and strengthening of the 10 interactive thematic networks together with 45 regional clusters (hubs) continued since 2018. It has attracted new participants in every Network and hub. So far, 1 060 demo-farmers and 215 innovation actors have been involved in the organisation of the project activities and registered in NEFFERTITI platform.
The 2020 dynamic action plans (DAPs) were developed in each network, and identified their main common challenges and goals. The networks dynamic action plans provided a good overview of the common challenges and needs of the networks, which can be fed back to the project executive committee and provide insights on networking across regions.

The second annual campaign is still ongoing but impacted by the COVID Crisis. 121 events with above 4 000 participants were organised on the 8 first month, which is 54% of our annual objective of 225 events.
NEFERTITI website’s homepage is redesigned and new subsections on the website (webinar materials & facts sheets and reports, etc.) are added.
 
Expected major project activities up to end of year 2020
 
  • The FarmDemo Training kit will be finalized and promoted. The kit will provide with practical guidelines, tools, and inspiration from practice on the organization of farm demonstration events.
  • The second annual Demo campaign will be finalised. Each Hub must organise at least one virtual Demo-event per year.
  • 10 new videos will be translated in all project languages (Bulgarian; Croatian; Dutch; Finnish; French; Hungarian; Italian; Polish; Portuguese; Serbian; Spanish, English and German).
  • A first set of monitoring reports on carrying out effective demo-activities on-farm will be prepared. Besides the lessons on the first year of the Nefertiti Campaign, this deliverable will also contain a list of Frequently Asked Questions related the organisation of virtual demos.
 
 
                                      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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