Yulia Barabanova (IFOAM), Jan van der Bloom (COEXPHAL), Stefano Carlesi (SSSA), Anna Kaszkowiak (KPODR), David Lafond (IFV), Bram Moeskops (IFOAM), Calypso Picaud (CRAO), Sabien Pollet (Inagro), Josip Zubac (KPODR)
The IPMWORKS project aims at building a European network of farms that are engaged in supporting farmers find and promote farm specific IPM strategies, within 12 EU Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and The Netherlands) and 2 associated countries (Serbia and the United Kingdom), along with the existing national networks (“LEAF” in the UK, “GROEN-AoZ” in the Netherlands, “PestiRed” in Switzerland, “DIPS” in Germany and “DEPHY” in France). To build this European network, IPMWORKS is built on “hubs”, groups gathering 10 to 15 farmers within the same agricultural sector, facilitated by a hub coach. These hubs aim at facilitating peer-to-peer learning between farmers in order to support them in the adoption of farm specific IPM strategies, and contribute through demonstration events to communication on these strategies. These hubs cover different agricultural sectors. In order to tackle sector specific issues within the project and to support hub coaches in each agricultural sector, the IPMWORKS network is organized in agricultural sectors. Sector leaders play a key role to create links between hub coaches of the same sector, as well as connecting with WPs and task leaders regarding adapting material, training, guidelines and communication within the sector.
Throughout the first 16 months of the project, and due to the covid-19 situation, the setting of hubs has been delayed for some partners (see Deliverable 2.1). Throughout this period, sector leaders have played an important role in supporting hub coaches in understanding the goals of the project, including the interest of including organic farmers within hubs. Working with different tasks, they have helped adapt material to the sector (IPM Awareness, IPM Adoption, and self-assessment of IPM efficiency – sector Arable fields).
Although all hubs have been created by January 2022, each hub is in a different stage of their work. When some have just officially launched their hub and started working with each farmer on their individual goals, others have already started identifying their common working topics. The identification within each sector of working topics, across borders and hubs, will take place in the beginning of the year 2022. This will enable sector leaders to identify focuses, inputs to be brought to hub coaches, activities (cross visits, focus groups, targeted seminars, symposiums) that would benefit to the hubs.
Through regular exchanges with hub coaches, sectors leaders have set a work organization within their sector to support hub coaches and reach the objectives of the project. Most sectors have convened of regular meetings, as well as taking advantage of particular events to exchange within the sector (ie : Vineyard sector meeting programmed on the 14 March 2022) or promote the work done within sectors (i.e. organisation of an outdoor vegetable demonstration event during a joint European project meeting). The organic cross sector has defined, after harvesting expectations of hub coaches, to focus on specific topics raised by hub coaches, where inputs from the organic sector would broaden the available IPM strategies. Supporting the specific production sector leader, the organic sector is therefore working in close collaboration with each sector, and associated to sector meetings.
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