Juan Manuel Corchado, president of the AIR Institute, attended the Farms4climate project review meeting in Cairo, Egypt. During the two-day meeting (23rd and 24th May), the progress made in the different Living Labs of the project was discussed, where he also shared with the representatives of the other institutions that make up the consortium in order to verify the accessions that have been carried out and to determine the next steps to be taken.
FARMS4CLIMATE “Smart Governance and Operational Models for Carbon Agroecological Agriculture” is an international consortium that brings together multiple actors to create innovative solutions for rural communities. This is being done through six regional Living Labs, two in Italy, two in Egypt, one in Tunisia and one in Spain, as well as communities, farmers and all stakeholders involved in agriculture.
The aim of the Living Labs programme is to guide participants in the design and coordination of rural innovation processes to promote sustainable farming systems, innovative business ideas and management skills needed to develop a Community Based Organisation (CBO). Initially, the programme focused on carbon farming, but then shifted towards a more holistic focus on stakeholder engagement, sustainable agriculture and specifically on the development of Living Labs.
Development of F4C sessions
During the sessions, the current and future development of each Living Lab present in the FARMS4CLIMATE project was described, detailing the diversity of visions and objectives that best respond to the unique characteristics of each region. Information was gathered on the description of each Living Lab, the analysis of the stakeholders, the main objectives, the actions carried out so far and the general plan for the next 2 years.
In addition, the work carried out in the different Living Labs was presented. For example, the Egyptian Living Labs focused on the transition from conventional to biodynamic agriculture. In the Tunisian Living Lab, meetings were held with farmers and a questionnaire was drawn up to assess the socio-economic status and farming systems used by each farmer. The Spanish South-East Living Lab held a conference on carbon farming to promote best climate practices in agriculture in the Murcia region.
Project partners have outlined the design of carbon farming schemes based on MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) methodologies to measure climate impacts. They also discussed how to deal with study areas in different regions, the data required by the learning areas for modelling and simulation (climate data, regenerative practices and measured variables), potential scale-up of regenerative practices and input data required for modelling. Inspired by SEKEM’s holistic vision of an “Economy of Love”, standards have been developed in Egypt for the certification of sustainable development and transparency, through which to increase the profitability of small-scale producers. It was an informative and, above all, fruitful day that helped set the guidelines for developing the objectives set out in the project.
FARMS4CLIMATE is a research and innovation project funded by the PRIMA Foundation through the Horizon 2020 programme, which seeks to adapt and replicate transformative approaches that start with inspiration. The idea is to build on trending topics such as regenerative agriculture and carbon farming to help rural communities identify new climate-friendly business opportunities adapted to local conditions and farming systems. The Farms4Climate consortium consists of twelve organisations from five different countries (Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Greece, and Italy), including research institutions, as well as farmers’ associations and small private companies.