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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CONTEXT FO PROJECT: AGRI-CULTURE project arises to highlight and make known the AGRICULTURE CONCEPT under the CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE. Not just linked to industrial farming methods, but in its original organic and cultural aspects. Connected to the environment and the natural cycles of the soil. Organic farming has a number of special qualities when it comes to environmental protection and can pass valuable know-how on environmentally-friendly farming practices to other types of farming. In the current scenario, the policy makers are also promoting organic farming for reasons like – sustaining rural economy, improving soil health, creating good environment etc. All aspects of organic production need to be developed further in Europe in order to meet the increasing interest. Also, being an economic activity, ORGANIC FARMING ADDS VALUE TO THE EU AGRICULTURE and, as such, needs to be viable. Below a number of benefits re organic farming: - Production of quality, safe food - Resource use sustainability - Environmental protection - Animal health welfare - Public health and food security - Financial viability of farming. MAIN OBJECTIVES: - Improve entrepreneurial and technical practices of young learners / school leavers / skilled in the field of agriculture and agribusiness; - Create synergies between education and the labour market; - Encourage innovation and environmental attention whithin entrepreneurial spirit, from the ground of the future society; - Strengthen and develop practical young professional profiles to be specific and potentially classifiable as: 1. new entrepreneurs, able to create and manage their own agribusiness highly respecting the natural environment; 2. within the Maltese agribusinesses already existing, as capable of bringing innovation and adaptation to the environmental sustainability and the European environmental rules; - Sensitise the young and future / aspiring agribusiness Maltese class to the real assessment of the importance of environmental preservation and the interactions between economies. NUMBER AND PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS: Agri-Culture addresses to 15 participants in VET, which must be all VET recent graduated or students in biological, organic, sustainable, managerial and communicative activities connected to the macro-areas of agriculture, agribusiness and equivalent, ready to carry out a period of mobility within the first year after graduation or qualification, however in age between 18 and 25 years at the time of signature of the individual mobility contract. The required educational background refers to the sectors of AGRICULTURE, AGRIBUSINESS, BIOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION. ACTIVITIES: Agri-Culture project offers the possibility to develop a VET internship, which carries the added value of internationality. It gives the opportunity to have a full-immersion period in the organic farming production context of a different European Country, through concrete activities, analytical studies and training courses, all highlighted by effectiveness and specificity. The selected foreign companies are strongly talented for their own strategic growth and integration within international markets. METHODOLOGY: The project has chosen Italy as European country of destination, for its characteristics and its neighborhood to Malta, under Km close distance but especially for the similar Mediterranean environmental contexts. NTM, applicant organisation, works synergistically with the foreign intermediary and hosting companies located in the foreign Country. The entire partnership (national and foreign) is, by missions, addicted to encourage KNOWLEDGE and SECTORAL SKILLS, operating with synergistic action between EDUCATION and VOCATIONAL WORK TRAINING, encouraging the development of entrepreneurship and the attainment of qualifications for fill in the gaps at skills level. RESULTS: - improving entrepreneurial and technical practices in the field of agriculture and agribusiness; - strengthening the capacity of access to the labor market; - strengthening cultural agri innovation and environmental attention whithin entrepreneurial spirit, from the ground of the future society; - improving the language skills. IMPACT: The impact is strong on the cultural agri-environmental concept: is a driving force to obtain a qualitatively high feedback on the national agricultural entrepreneurial and environmental context; it also creates a pool of national human resources strategic to encourage adaptation and innovation and to support the strengthening of environmental policies in the agriculture sector. On the LONG TERM, the Agri-Culture project: - with the added value of internationality, generates broadmindedness and adaptation and provides the right tools to compete in the world.; - with its objectives, is contributing to the environmental challenges so that the EU can becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world.
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