The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has introduced a number of instruments and measures to support knowledge exchange, advice and training on innovation and technology, cross-compliance and environmental sustainability.
Due to the Farm Advisory System, the Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) and the Agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI), the number of farmers receiving advice and having access to training in the European Union increased notably in the period 2014-2020 compared to the previous one (2007-2013).
However, the targets were not yet fully achieved. That is why the new CAP plans to focus efforts at EU and national level on knowledge exchange and innovation to better support the transition to a more sustainable farming system. For the next period, it is expected to triple the number of farmers benefited from these measures, but first the synergies with Horizon Europe projects have to be increased.
It should be noted that the implementation of the CAP measures for knowledge exchange, advisory activities and innovation suffered from delays and low spending due to the administrative burden. Fortunately, this will be reduced in the new CAP, which will also improve the coherence and inclusiveness of farm advice overall, as well as the related measures under rural development.
The Common Agricultural Policy budget will support peer-to-peer activities and mobility learning programs abroad for advisors, among other things, and it will put effort into strengthening knowledge flows within the AKIS. This will include targeted on-farm advice, building a knowledge depository with ready-made information for practice, organising mandatory training for advisors and ensuring farmers’ training which will be more demand-driven. Meetings on farms will also be organised within the AKIS network so that farmers, advisors and researchers can interact and exchange on farmers’ needs and scientists’ up-to-date knowledge.