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Preparation of Rural Communities for Implementing Organic Farming Measures

The project's main goal is to improve the quality of, and access to, VET in organic farming in three European countries. As organic farming is increasing in profile, farmers and student farmers increasingly need to be informed and trained in the application of organic farming methods. Project partners will initially undergo study visits to each others' countries with the aim of acquiring knowledge on different organic farming techniques. These study visits will inform the partners' development of a vocational training model for organic farming. The training model will comprise a broad curriculum and will be targeted at a range of users, to include universities, secondary agricultural schools and agricultural advisory centres. A series of guidebooks and training materials, aimed at teachers, will be produced for the different user groups. An exercise book for agricultural school students will be produced and a range of modules in agro-management for university students. The contents of the training model will be piloted on a small scale in the partner countries with different potential end-users and the results used to refine course content and delivery. Agricultural advisory centres will be provided with material on eco-tourism farming, a guidebook on converting to organic farming and an 'ABC' on organic farming. All training and advisory material will be available in printed and CD-Rom format. Other training tools will be adopted including the use of videos and PowerPoint presentations. The project aims specifically to encourage dialogue between western and eastern European farming communities in an effort to learn from each others' organic farming practices. The project website and the project partner websites, together with more traditional means of information sharing, will be utilised for the dissemination of project results.

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