Farmers, growers and agricultural experts across the EU will able to link up to find practical solutions to their farming problems through a new service.
EIP-Agri, which is funded by the European Commission, hopes to become a one-stop shop for agricultural innovation in the EU that will help get research out of the lab and into the field.
The support service will share research results and good farming practices and develop a network of farmers, researchers and agricultural advisers.
Promoting more resource-efficient, productive, low-emission and resilient farming will be the key focus.
Farmers and growers with a specific farming problem will be able to suggest research projects. Up to seven of these a year will be turned into focus groups – a group of partners made up of farmers, experts, research institutions or companies, who will start to develop the project. Funding for this will be provided by EIP-Agri.
Groups will be supported to find funding, although it is hoped that many of the research projects will get funding through each country’s Rural Development Programme.
Successful groups will be turned into “operational groups” to undertake the research. All findings and best practice will then be made available on the EIP-Agri website so other farmers and growers can benefit.
By registering on the website, users can:
- Submit agricultural problems they think deserve research into practical solutions
- Find best-practice information
- Find links to funding
- Find other people who could help with an expertise
- Be found by others looking for expertise
- Find information on current research projects and focus groups
- Access research results from the project but also other sources
- Upload results of agricultural research or useful articles
EIP-Agri has already received hundreds of research suggestions and now has several thousand registered users.