Valoriser lExpérience Transfrontalière en Agricult.. (VETABIO)
Valoriser lExpérience Transfrontalière en Agriculture BIOlogique
Start date: Sep 30, 2007,
End date: Jan 30, 2012
The production of organic vegetables is widespread in the cross-border area. The characteristics and organisational approach by vegetable farms, however, are quite diverse. In view of sustainable development, producers and technical agencies from the three regions established a network to bring structure to the organic production sector in the cross-border area. They exchange information on their competences, innovations and experiences on ruminant feed and organic vegetable farming issues. Achievements: The networking activities achieved over the course of the VETABIO project can be structured as follows:- The project specialists developed a network of exchanges through the organisation of about sixty joint events, but also through experiment-based protocols and/or the joint assessment of results. All the actions carried out led to numerous results that have been implemented in the whole region (in bilingual format) and will be applied for many years to come. - Producers in the region also met and shared their knowledge and know-how at the various events.- The exchanges crossed project boundaries through the organisation of an international seminar (Lille2010), where other institutions were also invited, or through the presentation of the project at the Techn Bio faire in Valence in 2011. The typology of the vegetal production chain enabled the set up of surveys on two levels: - A first-level survey studied the producers working methods and technical efficiency. - A second-level survey, realised in the reference farms, studied the producers practices in the field of weed control and crop protection.The technical support of the organic vegetable farmers led to tried and tested solutions to the technical problems they face on a day-to-day basis. Experiments were also set up on the main research themes developed from 2008 to 2011, i.e. weed control, crop protection and pest control, selection of varieties that are more resistant or tolerant to diseases. Over the course of the project, 47 tests were carried out, thanks to the synergy between the three regions and the complementary skills of each partner and specialist know-how that was applied to the entire network. In addition, identical tests were carried out in the three regions. The test syntheses were published in the cross-border information brief (Vetabio-Infos), publications circulated on colloquia, etc. The technical improvements were grouped in 8 publications and distributed in the entire cross-border area, in French and Dutch.The partners joined forces for an appropriate assessment of the needs for organic dairy farms in the various production basins involved in the project. The assessment resulted in one core issue: «the sustainable research of a greater food self-sufficiency on dairy herd level.». This key objective rapidly resulted in an action programme involving a strong cooperation between the cross-border partners and comprising 4 interwoven types of complementary action. The first action consists in identifying 9 reference farms and organising 14 thematic cross-border visits to the reference farms (537 participants). A second action focuses on grassland functioning and treatment. A double network of multi-site agricultural trials was also established which was dedicated to two main themes relating to food autonomy. The final action consists in the editing, publishing and distribution of a summarising book «Food autonomy on dairy herd level» covering the most relevant results. These actions meant a regular joint cooperation between the partners, helping them get over the border barriers.
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