The key role of agricultural advisors in encouraging digital technology adoption

The FAIRshare Consortium got together for the 1st Annual project meeting in Athens, 21-22 November 2020 to discuss important topics such as the uptake of the digital technologies by advisors and farmers in the EU.

The key role of agricultural advisors in encouraging digital technology adoption

The general trend of digitalisation of EU agriculture represents an opportunity to use technologies and data to improve knowledge generation and farmer decision making. Advisors play an important role in collecting, analysing and interpreting data. However, the potential of digitalisation is unlikely to be realised at the European level unless advisors are mobilised and encouraged to uptake the digital tools as well as advocate them to farmers and other advisors. Therefore, digital Advisory Tools and Services (DATS) are critical with regards to supporting advisory services, training, and knowledge exchange. Currently there is a lack of identified tools to support digital innovation within agricultural advisory services. FAIRshare will overcome this particularly significant barrier by providing an inventory of existing DATs and decision support services across the EU.

What economic, social and cultural changes will bring the use of DATs in European farming?

Significant social and cultural changes are expected with the emergence of Digital Agriculture and the widespread application of smart technologies in farming. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), a cornerstone of the EU H2020 programme, is a governance framework which supports the development of technologies in a way that harnesses the benefits whilst managing the risks – it aims to ensure the trajectory of innovation is responsive to the concerns, needs and expectations of society. FAIRshare is fully committed to the principles of RRI by exploring the issue of data and ethics in digital agriculture and what it means for our project and for farm advisory services.2019 FAIRshare

During the meeting partners also raised interesting topics such as the need to get a better understanding on the motivations, barriers and solutions for better acceptance of digital advisory tools and services by both advisors and farmers as well as the importance of agricultural data governance.

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FAIRshare in brief

FAIRshare is an € 7 million EU Horizon2020 project dedicated to engaging, enabling and empowering the independent farm advisor community, creating a vibrant movement for farm advisory digital tools through sharing of tools, expertise and motivations with the aim to ensure that farm advisors and their organisations effectively use digital tools and services for supporting a more productive and sustainable agriculture.

FAIRshare EU disclamer