Environment and fight against climate change
Our project is primarily and inherently addressing this horizontal priority, aligning with the objectives of the Green Deal, and related strategies such as the Farm To Fork, Biodiversity Strategy and the Organic Action Plan.
The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has a key role to play in supporting the European agricultural sector, managing the transition to sustainable food production systems and strengthening European farmers' efforts to contribute to the EU's climate objectives and environmental protection. 80% of the EU's territory is covered by agricultural land and forests, and a significant proportion of EU funding comes from the CAP, which will play a significant role in meeting the EU's 2030 commitments.
The new CAP is being developed according to the EU’s environmental, climate, and biodiversity protection commitments to fully support the goals set in the European Green Deal, especially in relation with the agricultural sector.
In their daily lives, farmers encounter the CAP primarily through subsidies and grants, which often have a decisive influence on their management directions. In many cases, however, they are not sufficiently aware of the rules and conditions for implementing certain measures, and the amount of aid is more important to them than the purpose and content of the farming practices undertaken. Therefore our main aim is the building of their knowledge, skills and attitudes on climate change and sustainable development in the context of available funding opportunities and linked good eco-practices, to increase better understanding, responsibility and implementation efficiency.
Many elements of the new CAP are focusing on sustainable farming, setting up the so-called conditionality requirements of direct payments, the eco-schemes (under Pillar I) and rural development measures as well (under Pillar II). We will systematically process the relevant legislation and extract the information which is practically meaningful for their realization at the farm level. This will be accompanied with the overview, selection and mapping of best eco-practices, which are the most suitable to meet the certain CAP regulations. The result will be represented in a user friendly online knowledge base, and serve as the foundation of learning content for green skills. Our eco-farm assessment tool, assisted by the extension network, will support the transfer of knowledge, enabling partners and participants to gain deeper insight into each farmer’s profile, technical and soft skill, attitude, motivation and other aspects, and also to monitor progress. Our green methodology will be summarized and shared in two guidebooks. By the use of the above innovative practices, both learners (farmers) and staff (partners, extension agents) become drivers of sustainable development.
Addressing digital transformation through development of digital readiness, resilience and capacity
Virtually all elements of the project are based on the use of digital technologies, thus contributing significantly to the digital transformation. CAPTIVATE considers it a fundamental task to disseminate good practices relating to sustainable farming, many of which are already available in some form of online repository or knowledge base. Our project will make a significant contribution to improving the visibility, take-up and use of these learning materials. In addition, an easy-to-use, freely accessible online platform, which providing personalised information for farmers could further strengthen the digital-first mentality among the users.
We will be using digital technologies to engage our learners, educators and organisations, enhancing digital skills and competence development at both basic and advanced levels. For example, all participants will access the e-learning platform and the various online tools, which support the learning process, in combination with certain eco-practices (checklist, calculation, optimization and planning software, etc.). The eco-farm assessment tool will be offered online as well. Under the planned CAP measures, there are also environmentally friendly practices and tools that are strongly tied to digital transformation (e.g. precision agriculture). Learning modules covering these areas will increase advanced digital competences.
VET: Contributing to innovation in vocational education and training
The CAPTIVATE project offers an innovative, complex and targeted method for agricultural producers and extension service providers to improve their knowledge in a crucially important area, which is at the centre of the new CAP and it also attracts considerable social attention from the side of the customers. In the CAPTIVATE project environment, learners and practitioners can participate in a personalised learning/training process, supported by the Eco-Farm Assessment Tool. Assessing the needs, skills and attitudes of farmers, as well as the characteristics and ecological potential of their farms allow to create a context-dependent, individualized planning path which builds on the prior knowledge and context of the farmers. The method also takes into account their attitude and orientation towards different alternatives and opportunities of eco-friendly farming (e.g. some farmers are susceptible to precision agriculture, while for others, organic farming methods are a more natural fit), and this approach aims to better customize the learning experience.
The personalised, situational learning process is supported by the CAPTIVATE knowledge base, which will contain the systematically processed legislation in an understandable structure which is practically meaningful for their realization at the farm level. This will be accompanied with the overview, selection and mapping of best eco-practices, which are the most suitable to meet the CAP regulations relevant for the certain farm.
Since nowadays there is an exponential increase in the number of teaching materials and information sources available online, including in the field of environmentally friendly production technologies, it is of utmost importance to curate those materials in line with the exact need of users and learners. The development method of the knowledge base will provide the opportunity to do this by processing and aligning the relevant policy context and available learning materials, providing learners with context-specific, tailored learning content for green skills. The knowledge base will help to put the latest applied research results into practice.