Main research question
With the ClimateSmartAdvisors project, the EU aims to strengthen the large group of agricultural advisors - intermediaries between the farmer and science or policy - so that they are more empowered in their role and can accelerate adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices. There is an urgent need for more climate-smart agri-food system and EU agricultural production. Scientific research is fostering knowledge and the growth of possible innovative practices, recipes, developments. But the actual rollout depends on the crucial role of advisors. The question is how they become efficiently employable for dissemination, advice and even co-creative development of climate smart innovations and practices.
To strengthen the capacity of the advisory community in the EU, an EU-wide network of 260 advisory communities (CoPs) is being established. The CoPs will be supported with dedicated training activities and an interactive database of knowledge and methods. Links will be established with national innovation projects and actors to further strengthen the role of the advisor in the systemic transition to climate-smart agriculture.
Through an EU-wide consortium of 74 partner organizations, we will engage directly with at least 1,500 advisors - 140 will be trained as Climate Smart Coaches (CSCs), who can support the capacity building of their colleagues, and 1,360 will be supported in their development into Climate Smart Advisors (CSAs). This represents a significant expansion of the knowledge base of climate-related practices, which in turn should lead to greater use by farmers of innovative climate-smart agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change.