Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: Lifelong Learning Highlights from the Grand Friend Project

by | Nov 9, 2023 | WP2 - Pedagogical Guidebook | 0 comments

“Best Practices in Agro-Entrepreneurship: Lifelong Learning Highlights from the Grand Friend Project” post is an introduction to the EU Funded project named “Intergenerational Hub for the Amelioration of Sustainable Agricultural Practices and Entrepreneurial Mindset” with the reference number 2022-1-DE02-KA220-ADU-000085106. L4Y Learning for Youth GmbH coordinates it with the partners KMOPPolish Farm AdvisoryCitizens in PowerChalledu. Here is the home page of the project.

This blog post presents the various intergenerational programmes resulting from the Grand Friend Project, focusing on agro-entrepreneurial practises facilitated by lifelong learning institutes in different countries. Through this post, it is possible to explore how these programmes from Greece, Germany, Cyprus, and Poland foster a culture of sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurial spirit among various age groups. Through these transitions, the narrative aims to showcase multifaceted approaches to bridging generational gaps and fostering agripreneurship, thus providing a vivid picture of global efforts towards sustainable agricultural practices.

Table of Contents

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices from Cyprus


Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-1 :Adult Education Centres

Partner: CIP – Citizens in Power, Cyprus

Identification of the initiative/programme: Adult Education Centers, (In Greek: Επιμορφωτικά Κέντρα)

Promoter(s): Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth

Website: http://www.moec.gov.cy/epimorfotika/en/index.html

Language (s): Greek

Group(s) addressed: 15+

Objectives

The general purpose of the Training Centres is the holistic development of the personality of each individual and the social, economic and cultural progress of citizens and society in general.

The objectives of the Training Centres align with the State’s development policy and seamlessly extend into the broader goals of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth. These overarching aims are to offer lifelong learning opportunities to all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Moreover, they strive to combat educational inequalities, fostering a more effective integration and active participation

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programme:

The Training Centres, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Youth, represent the most extensive Adult Education program available to every resident of Cyprus aged 15 and above. Aimed at addressing the diverse training needs of its members, these centers provide an array of subjects at affordable fees, offering approximately 70 different subjects annually.

Training/learning methodology applied:

A combination between theoretical and practical methods of a chosen subject.

Competences developed:

There are different competences developed depending on the specialization chosen by the learners such as agriculture or automotive engineering. These competences can be for the personal and professional development of the individual.

Structured – learning/training topics covered:

Some of the subjects offered:

  • Architecture, Civil Engineering and AUTOCAD
  • Language and Literature English
  • Language and Literature French
  • Language and Literature German
  • Language, Literature and History Greek
  • Language and Literature Spanish
  • Language and Literature Italian
  • Language and Literature Russian
  • Language Turkish
  • Graphic Arts
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Journalism
  • Nutrition
  • Business Administration
  • Theology
  • Sociology
  • Archaeology
  • Law
  • Environmental Issues and Sustainable Development
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fashion Design
  • Accounting
  • Electrical Engineering/Electronics
  • Visual Arts
  • Information Technology
  • Physical Education – General Training
  • Food Technology
  • Music
  • Carpentry (furniture making)
  • Astronomy – Astrophysics
  • European Studies
  • Meteorology
  • Robotics
  • Photography – Photoshop

There are also subjects that focus on dance, music, arts and crafts, and language learning.

Results and Project Relevance

A Certificate of Attendance is issued for the successful completion of any of the subjects offered by the Training Centres. In order to obtain the certificate, attendance of at least 80% of the teaching sessions (20 out of 25 courses) is expected.

The premise of the courses of the training centres does not have any age restrictions, except the minimum age set at 15 years-old. Even though it isn’t made explicit by their description, these centres are places of intergenerational learning. Also, the trainers

Challenges

There are tuition fees associated with the attendance and completion of the aforementioned programmes. Even though the fees are not considered high, they can still be an obstacle for some learners facing financial difficulties. The fees for the courses of the Training Centres are set as follows:
City – Countryside: € 55
Communities with less than 500 inhabitants: € 27.50
People 65 years and over: € 27.50 Persons aged 65 and over living in communities of less than 500 inhabitants: € 13.75.
Greek language for Turkish Cypriots: Free
Turkish Language for Greek Cypriots: Free

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-2: Lifelong Vocational Education and Training Programmes (LVETP)

Partner: CIP – Citizens in Power, Cyprus

Identification of the initiative/programme: Lifelong Vocational Education and Training Programmes (LLLETP) (Evening Technical School Department) (In Greek: Προγράμματα Διά Βίου Επαγγελματικής Εκπαίδευσης και Κατάρτισης (ΠΔΒΕΕΚ) (Απογευματινά και Βραδινά Τμήματα Τεχνικών Σχολών)

Promoter(s): Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth

Website: http://www.moec.gov.cy/dmteek/pdbeek_genikes_plirofories.html

Country: Cyprus

Language (s): Greek

Group(s) addressed: 18+

Objectives

  1. Firstly, the program emphasizes the continuous training of technical staff to meet the evolving demands of the labor market.
  2. Secondly, it includes the provision of preparatory courses for the Pancyprian examinations and for other external tests where special preparation is crucial, such as the exams for becoming a certified Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Operator.”
  3. Additionally, the initiative offers citizens of the Republic of Cyprus the opportunity to gain extra qualifications, aiding in securing employment or supporting professional and personal growth.
  4. Moreover, it aims to provide chances for those who have not completed their secondary school, high school, or Technical and Vocational School of Education and Training, allowing them to acquire essential knowledge, competencies, and skills for their professional development.
  5. Furthermore, the program is dedicated to providing social outreach and Lifelong Learning opportunities for individuals interested in ongoing training and enhancing their knowledge and skills.

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programme:

Lifelong Vocational Education and Training Programmes (LLLETP) provides both three-year and one-year programmes aimed at training individuals for various vocational professions. Initially, the three-year programmes delve into a range of specialisations including Automotive Engineering, Hydraulic, Thermal and Refrigeration Installations, Electrical Installations, Cooking and Dining, Carpentry – Furniture, and Agriculture among others. On the other hand, the one-year programmes are designed to focus on narrower areas within each of the fields mentioned earlier. These offerings are systematically rotated across various cities, with the schedule being determined by the level of interest and demand observed in the labour market of each respective city. Additionally, the schedule varies depending on the specialization chosen, transitioning from theoretical to practical learning methods.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: Lifelong Vocational Education and Training Programmes (LVETP)

Competences developed:

There are different competences developed depending on the specialization chosen by the learners such as agriculture or automotive engineering. These competences are aligned with the needs of the labour market.
Structured – learning/training topics covered:
Three-year programmes:
T1 | Automotive Engineering
T2 | Hydraulic, thermal and refrigeration installations
T3 | Maintenance of hotel electromechanical equipment
T4 | Electrical installations
T5 | Cooking – Dining
T6 | Construction – (Structural works)
T7 | Carpentry – Furniture
T8 | Silversmithing – Goldsmithing
T9 | Agriculture

One-year programmes:
M1 | Automotive Engineering
M2 | Two-wheel drive engineering
M3 | Automotive Electronic Fault Detection
M4 | Airbags and automotive air conditioning
M5 | Machine shop/ lathes
M6 | Welding
M7 | Plumbing – Plumbing maintenance
M8 | Central heating/ boiler room
M9 | Electrical installations – Basic level
M10 | Electrical installations – Advanced
M11 | Automation
M12 | Computer maintenance
M13 | Household appliances
M14 | Refrigeration and air conditioning
M15 | Photovoltaic installations
M16 | Introduction to computers ECDL 1&2
M17 | Cooking
M18 | Cypriot cuisine
M19 | International cuisine
M20 | Bar – flambé
M21 | Pastry/Bakery – Basic level
M22 | Pastry/Bakery – Advanced level
M23 | Catering
M24 | Confectionery
M25 | Bakery
M26 | Woodworking – Woodcarving
M27 | Silversmithing – Goldsmithing
M28 | Agriculture
M29 | Clothing design and manufacture
M30 | Refrigerant gas management
M31 | Application of the 16th and 17th edition of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) regulations for electrical installations
P1 | Preparatory courses for the Pancyprian examinations in Technological Courses

Results and Project Relevance

Upon attending and successfully completing the three-year programmes at the technician level, participants are awarded a “Diploma of Evening Vocational Training Courses.” One-year programmes receive a certificate of attendance.
Those students who hold a High School Diploma or a Technical and Vocational School of Education and Training and after successfully completing the three-year course of study at IDVEEK, their Diploma becomes equivalent to the Secondary Technical and Vocational Education Diploma in the specialty, i.e., equivalent as far as the Technological and Laboratory courses are concerned.

The VET programmes offered to individuals over 18 do not refer to any age restrictions, except the minimum age permitted. They are relevant to the project due to their unintentional intergenerational learning nature and focus on developing agricultural competences.

Challenges:

There are tuition fees associated with the attendance and completion of the aforementioned programmes. Even though the fees are not considered high, they can still be an obstacle for some learners facing financial difficulties. The tuition fees per year for attending the Lifelong Vocational Education and Training Programmes are as follows:
Three-year programmes €239,20
One-year programmes €153,78
Preparatory courses for the Pancyprian examinations €410,00

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices from Greece


Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-3: Green and Sustainable Development Accelerator

Partner Challedu, Greece

Identification of the initiative/programme: Green and Sustainable Development Accelerator

Promoter(s): HIGGS (organizer) Costas Lemos Foundation, Ioannis S.Latsis Charitable Foundation (Major donors)
Supported by the U.S. Embassy in Athens
Sponsored by Bayer Hellas

Country: Greece

Language (s): Greek / English

Group(s) addressed: Non profits in the field of enviroanmental/sustainable development (with at least 2 years of operation and max number of 40 permanent, fill time employees. Other non profit initiatives active in the aforementioned field

Objectives

To provide access to relatively new enterprises, education and coaching are extended to newly minted entrepreneurs. Advisory sessions on various issues are offered, along with networking support platforms for NPOs, subsequently opening up funding opportunities.

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programmes:

Green and Sustainable Development Accelerator is a complimentary, predominantly online, intensive 6-month programme. Initially, this Accelerator provides tailor-made training seminars which are adeptly adapted to the Greek context. It encompasses a diverse range of topics, spanning 16 different areas of expertise. These insightful sessions are facilitated by seasoned educators and experts hailing from both Greece and America, thereby offering a blend of perspectives and approaches.It commences twice a year and the NPOs are selected after completing a certain form (up to 8 NPOS per year are selected.

Training/learning methodology applied:

The program is divides into various steps. After the NPOs are selected, they have to attend a bootcamp – compulsory intensive 4 week courses in business development plan and accounting. Participants can also attend several workshops tailor made for greek NPOS. Also, regularly weekly meetings are scheduled to support participating NPOS to further develop their business plan or draft fundraising proposals addressed to Greek based or international donors. Moreover, they can attend 1-1 meetings with HIGGS team of experts in order to get consultation in various topics eg marketing, social media promotion, recruitment of volunteers or of permanent staff, project management accounting, legal issues etc.
At the end of the program, participants have to present their business idea to the Evaluation Commitee of the accelerator

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: Green and Sustainable Development Accelerator


Competences developed:

  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • networking skiils
  • presentation skills
  • Structured – learning/training topics covered
  • Business plan development
  • accounting
  • social media marketing
  • HR
  • Project management
  • fundraising proposal development

Results

Since HIGGS has run successfully 17 cycles of this incubator, some of the results might be

  • more than 50 NPOS alumni have participated in this incubation program
  • more than 50 consultations have been made
  • at least 2 networking events per year run by HIGGS (named HIGGS pop up events) in which also NPOs participating in the Accelerator can participate

This program is one of the few initiatives to support sustainable and environmental friendly enterprises. Many of its alumni are also affiliated with.
Sources:
Accelerator – HIGGS (higgs3.org)
HIGGS: Ξεκίνησαν οι αιτήσεις για τον 18ο κύκλο του accelerator (startupper.gr)
HIGGS: Δωρεάν επιταχυντής Πράσινης και Βιώσιμης Ανάπτυξης για ΜΚΟ – CSR.ERT.GR

Challanges

Not only agroentrepreneurs but also general entrepreneurs in the field of sustainable and environmentally friendly enterprises are the target audience

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-4: Postgraduate program on Sustainable Agricultural production systems and Climate change

Partner Challedu, Greece

Identification of the initiative/programme: Postgraduate program on Sustainable Agricultural production systems and Climate change

Promoter(s): Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Website: ΠΜΣ Αειφορικά Γεωργικά Συστήματα Παραγωγής και Κλιματική Αλλαγή (auth.gr)

Country: Greece

Language (s): Greek

Group(s) addressed: Post graduate students

Objectives

This postrgaduate prorgam has the following objectives
-Specialization in Sustainable Agriculture Production in environments with constantly changing climates conditions.
-Strengthening the research in the above fields in Greece in order to develop new technology as well as in its support scientists active in these thematic areas
-Covering the needs of the public and of the private sector with specialized personells, as well as the educators in relevant organizations in national and international level

Brief description of the programmes:

This postgraduate program is divided in 4 semesters
The topics to be covered are:

  • biometry
  • climate change
  • plant and crop physiology, in normal and changing environmental contexts
  • ecology
  • research methodology on plantation management
  • GIS in agriculture
  • organic and alternative types of sustainable agriculture
  • toxicology
  • herbicides

Programme Overview and Methodology

Training/learning methodology applied:

As mentioned before, the program divides into 4 semesters. During the first 3 semesters, students must attend various courses, while in the last semester, students conduct their diploma research thesis

Competences developed:

  • Firstly, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, which is essential for success in agro-entrepreneurship.
  • Secondly, honing skills in sustainable agricultural practices, ensuring a responsible approach to farming.
  • Lastly, refining research skills, crucial for gathering and analyzing data to inform decision-making.

Structured – learning/training topics covered: topics covered encompass both compulsory and elective courses in each semester, providing a comprehensive education in these areas.

Results and Project Relevance

Postgraduate degree on
It focuses in creating sustainable cultivations taking into account the changing context of agriculture due to climate change

Challenges: The program’s content lacks clarity regarding its inclusion of a diverse range of agro-entrepreneurship courses.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-5: BEST FRIENDS against Ageism 

Partner Challedu, Greece

Identification of the initiative/programme: BEST FRIENDS against Ageism – Intergenerational workshops between old people and children to break the isolation of elderly people and support their social inclusion

Promoter(s): It is an Erasmus project, with the Symplekis organization as a Greek partner.

Website: Best Friends | Best Friends (bestfriendsproject.eu)

Country: Greece/Latvia/Italy/france/Germany

Language (s): English, Greek, Latvian, French, German, Italian

Group(s) addressed: Seniors, children

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: BEST FRIENDS against Ageism

Objectives

Among the  objectives of this project are

  • Firstly, to promote intergenerational learning as an innovative method for professionals working with elderly people, such as social workers, volunteers, and adult educators.
  • Secondly, to foster the social inclusion of seniors within the community.
  • Additionally, to maintain and/or improve the physical and mental health of seniors through their interaction with children.
  • Moreover, to promote intergenerational relationships through meaningful and recreational activities.
  • Lastly, to enhance children’s self-confidence and social responsibility through these interactions.

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programmes: The BEST FRIENDS project primarily aims to tackle the social isolation experienced by seniors. Through the development of innovative educational practices for social workers (or volunteers) and engaging games, it promotes intergenerational communication and learning. Additionally, the project seeks to combat the stigma often associated with senior citizens.

Training/learning methodology applied: Initially, the approach involves focus groups with seniors to understand their needs deeply. Subsequently, research on best practices is conducted to inform the development of the curriculum. Furthermore, staff trainings are integral to ensuring the successful implementation of these innovative practices.

Competences developed: Throughout the program, participants enhance various competences. Notably, they improve communication skills, both oral and written. Moreover, they cultivate a sense of social responsibility and gain proficiency in game-based learning strategies, which are essential for fostering engaging intergenerational interactions.

Structured – learning/training topics covered: The curriculum is thoughtfully structured to cover several key topics. Firstly, it includes a needs analysis of seniors to tailor the program effectively. Following this, participants explore ageism guidelines, which are crucial for facilitating positive intergenerational learning experiences. This structured approach ensures a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in bridging generational divides.

Results and Project Relevance

Among the project’s outcomes, we believe a particularly valuable asset for the GRANDFRIEND project is the collection of good practices. This compilation offers organizations a methodology to improve planning in the domain of intergenerational learning. Moreover, it aims to elevate awareness at both local and national levels regarding the significance of intergenerational learning as a sphere for professional and social engagement. Additionally, an e-learning platform toolkit/guide for intergenerational educational activities has been developed. This resource is designed to further facilitate the adoption and implementation of effective intergenerational learning strategies.

It definitely matches one of our project’s main topics, that is the innovative aspect of intergenerational learing. It could inspire us for more inclusive – family oriented activities – if possible.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-6: MBA Food & Agribusiness

Partner: KMOP, Greece

Identification of the initiative/programme: MBA Food & Agribusiness

Promoter(s): Agricultural University of Athens

Website: http://mba.aua.gr/

Country: Greece

Language (s): Greek

Group(s) addressed: Students

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: MBA Food & Agribusiness

Objectives

The objective of this Programme is to research and teach the subjects of Business Administration in the agri-food sector, so that graduates are able to make the decisions required in a complex and competitive environment either as business executives or as entrepreneurs.

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programmes:

The MBA Food & Agrobusiness Programme focuses mainly on businesses in the food and agricultural sector. Through this focus, students may gain specialized knowledge and skills regarding business administration, agricultural finances, consumers’ behaviours and food technology that can further lead them to structure a successful business route as senior management executives.

Training/learning methodology applied: The program incorporates various methods, such as course lectures and seminars, complemented by field trips. Additionally, it integrates case studies and group assignments along with focused sessions on business and marketing planning.

Competences developed: The curriculum is designed to enhance business awareness and communication skills. Furthermore, it sharpens analysis and problem-solving abilities while honing decision-making skills.
Structured – learning/training topics covered: Essential topics include Business Statistics and Marketing for agricultural products. Moreover, the program delves into Finance for Agrobusiness and explores the nuances of Agricultural Entrepreneurship.

Results and Project Relevance

Successful participants can gain an MBA degree upon the programme’s completion. Students can enhance their network and connections that may become valuable later on in their careers.

This is one of the few programs that includes the connection of young agro-entrepreneurs (i.e. students) with more experienced agro-entrepreneurs, in the form of seminars taught by more experienced entrepreneurs or field trips and visits to the established agricultural companies.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-7: Agricultural Training

Partner: KMOP, Greece

Identification of the initiative/programme: Agricultural Training

Promoter(s): Institute of Vocational Training DELTA

Website: https://www.iekdelta360.gr/spoydes-geoponias

Country: Greece

Language (s): Greek

Group(s) addressed: Students

Objectives

This Educational Cycle offers a wide array of specializations to young students keen on exploring the agricultural sector. Consequently, it strengthens their connection with the labor market.

Programme Overview and Methodology

A brief overview of the programmes: Constructed with a keen eye on the distinct characteristics of the agricultural sector, the Agricultural Training Curriculum embodies a well-thought-out structure. Seasoned instructors, who bring to the table not only profound scientific knowledge, but also a wealth of practical experience garnered over many years, deliver the courses

Training/learning methodology applied: The methodology encompasses course lectures, seminars, and field trips, offering a holistic educational experience.

Competences developed; The curriculum enhances key competencies such as communication, analysis, and decision-making, crucial for the professional growth of students.

The training topics provided are closely connected to the students’ chosen specializations Importantly, these topics include the business administration of agricultural businesses, agricultural marketing, and the agricultural economy, ensuring a comprehensive understanding in these key areas.Additionally, topics such as agricultural infrastructure also feature prominently in the curriculum.

Results and Project Relevance

Upon successful completion of their studies, participants can gain Higher Diploma – Level 6 equivalent. Additionally, participants may enrich their network and their connections with enterprises and personnel in the field of agriculture in Greece.

This educational cycle includes seminars offered by experienced entrepreneurs that share their experiences with young promising professionals in the field of agriculture and field trips where students have the opportunity to visit offices and infrastructure of both upcoming and well-established agricultural businesses.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-8: Integrated Training in Agricultural Entrepreneurship

Partner: KMOP, Greece

Identification of the initiative/programme: Integrated Training in Agricultural Entrepreneurship

Promoter(s): Agronomist.gr

Website: https://www.iekdelta360.gr/spoydes-geoponias

Country: Greece

Language (s): Greek

Group(s) addressed:

  • Firstly, geotechnicians who play a crucial role in the technical aspects of agriculture.
  • Additionally, both professional and amateur farmers are targeted, catering to a wide range of agricultural practices.
  • Furthermore, business consultants who advise on strategic and operational matters are included.
  • Moreover, students of geotechnical disciplines are considered, emphasizing education and future career paths.
  • Also, individuals keen on initiating a venture in the agri-food sector are encouraged to participate.
  • Lastly, business executives, who oversee the strategic direction of companies within this industry, are part of the intended audience.

Objectives

Offer specialization to theoretical and practical aspects of agricultural production

Programme Overview and Methodology

A brief overview of the programmes: The Integrated Training in Agricultural Entrepreneurship is a complete audiovisual guide offering a package of seminars dedicated to the marketing of agricultural products. These seminars are not just a simple reference to practical issues of agricultural production, but offer specialization to practical aspects of agricultural production.

Training/learning methodology applied: eLearning, Lectures

Competences developed; Entrepreneurial acumen Marketing tactics

Structured – learning/training topics covered;

Firstly, Applied Marketing of Agricultural Products offers practical insights into the market. Additionally, Marketing of Agricultural Products of Small Producers focuses on niche marketing strategies. Furthermore, Entrepreneurial Olive Growing delves into the specifics of cultivating olives with a business mindset. Moreover, Business Cultivation of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants explores the commercial aspects of these valuable crops. Lastly, Marketing of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants provides strategies for effectively promoting these products.

Results and Project Relevance

Participants understand significant concepts and procedures to increase the added value of agricultural products. They also receive a certificate of attendance to further enrich and empower their CVs.

This is one of the few online courses in the field of agriculture in Greece. It combines the theoretical tools of marketing with practical examples from the agricultural sector. It is focused on both young and more experienced agro-entrepreneurs.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices from Germany


Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-9: Agricultural Innovation for Climate Resilience Programme

Partner: L4Y Learning for Youth, Germany

Identification of the initiative/programme: Agricultural Innovation for Climate Resilience Programme

Promoter(s): WFP Innovation Accelerator and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ)

Website: https://innovation.wfp.org/agricultural-innovation-climate-resilience-programme

Country: Global / Germany

Language (s): English

Group(s) addressed: Agricultural entrepreneurs from Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar.

Objectives

Support high-impact solutions and agro entrepreneurs addressing resource efficient farming in LMICs

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programmes: The Agricultural Innovation for Climate Resilience Programme (AICR) is designed to bolster high-impact solutions and agro-entrepreneurs focused on resource-efficient farming in LMICs. Initially, the programme will identify early-stage ventures and solution providers, who will subsequently receive financial, technical, and methodological support from the WFP Innovation Accelerator, along with other partners. Through fostering collaboration among talented individuals worldwide, we aspire to significantly enhance climate resilience, natural resource protection, food security, as well as income and employment improvement.

Training/learning methodology applied: Innovation Bootcamps

Competences developed: Increasing resilient crop production

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: Agricultural Innovation for Climate Resilience Programme

Structured – learning/training topics covered:

Selected ventures will be invited to participate in a fully virtual 4-day WFP Innovation Bootcamp in July 2023.
● Selected ventures will also be able to apply for the WFP Sprint Programme, which is a 6- to 9-month acceleration programme with access to:
-Support from the WFP Innovation Accelerator and relevant partners through the duration of their Sprints.
– Participants also receive mentorship and access to a global network of relevant stakeholders in their respective fields.
– Additionally, up to US$150,000 in equity-free funding is available for the implementation of a proposed growth plan.

● Solutions that have proven their concepts, scale, and value for social impact could qualify for further funding and support in future programmes or events in our alumni community.

Results and Project Relevance

To date, the WFP Innovation Accelerator boasts a track record of organising more than 45 flagship innovation bootcamps. In doing so, it has supported over 395 teams in rapidly refining their innovations. Following this, field testing has been conducted for over 100 projects, which has paved the way for bringing disruptive innovations to scale. By joining, you will be part of a high-impact network consisting of over 300+ disruptive innovations. Collectively, these innovations have already positively impacted over 9 million people.

Why is this relevant for the project : It is an active fund that is offering a relevant example.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-10: Smart Farming and IoT in Agriculture

Partner: L4Y Learning for Youth, Germany

Identification of the initiative/programme: Smart Farming and IoT in Agriculture

Promoter(s): TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning

Website: https://www.lll.tum.de/certificate/smart-farming-and-iot-in-agriculture/

Country: Germany

Language (s): English

Group(s) addressed: Employees working in agribusiness and related sectors at the intersection of business and technology who desire to extend their knowledge of Smart Farming Technologies. Participants should be keen to learn more about the digital transformation of agriculture in order to evaluate its potential or implement it in their work environment. Participants can be both professionals within the agricultural industry or have a management background.

Objectives

Training farmers in the field of smart agriculture and IoT

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programmes: Digital Transformation stands as a pivotal topic in agriculture today. To effectively navigate agribusiness during times of change, professionals require a comprehensive understanding of both the sector and its foundational technologies. This course provides the essential “big-picture overview,” emphasizing a shared language and precise terminology to ensure clarity and coherence in the field. This also means that you will learn to distinguish between Precision Farming, Smart Farming and Digital Farming. This certificate program will firstly provide you with the necessary skillset. Additionally, it includes practical exercises and, furthermore, offers technological insights that are crucial for anyone aiming to become proficient in Smart Farming.. A combination of online work and hands-on home exercises allow for a practical learning environment, while our use of peer coaching in combination with an on-site session in Freising near Munich open up an abundance of networking opportunities.

Training/learning methodology applied: Blended Format (courses, seminars, live sessions)

Competences developed: concrete skills such as handling a drone, creating application maps or setting up a sensor system in the field – but also soft skills such as communication between agricultural engineers, software developers and product managers

Structured – learning/training topics covered: Precise language on the important concepts of digital transformation in agriculture
Overview of important technologies and developments such as robotics, drone use, GNSS (GPS) systems, automatic guidance systems, and Farm Management Information Systems.
Initially, the focus is on IoT and how it enables the collection, processing, and integration of information from various data sources, both physical and digital, ultimately converging in the farmer’s hands. Subsequently, this information is displayed through a customized User Interface. Moreover, this serves as a foundation for automating agricultural processes. Finally, building an IoT system becomes a hands-on experience, starting from selecting a sensor, then moving on to programming a microcontroller, and culminating in creating a dashboard with a user-friendly interface.

Results and Project Relevance

“Smart Farming and IoT in Agriculture Expert” certificates

This course focuses specifically on smart agriculture, integrating cutting-edge technologies and practices.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices from Poland


Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-11: Program “Czyste Powietrze”

Partner: PFA, Poland

Identification of the initiative/programme : Program “Czyste Powietrze”

Promoter(s) : Polish Government

Website: https://www.czystepowietrze.eu/o-programie 

Country: Poland

Language (s): Polish

Group(s) addressed: owners of single-family houses

Objectives

  • Firstly, reducing harmful emissions to minimize environmental impact.
  • Secondly, replacing old heat sources with more efficient and eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Lastly, undertaking thermo-modernization of buildings to enhance energy efficiency and sustainability.
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: Program “Czyste Powietrze”

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programmes: This program introduces the necessary steps to take in order to lessen the harmful emissions that family homes produce.

Training/learning methodology applied: Initially, the program advocates for the adoption of new heat sources and, furthermore, commits to offering support for acquiring these and replacing older, less efficient sources.

Competences developed: Specifically, this initiative contributes significantly to environmental protection efforts.

Structured  learning/training topics covered: Additionally, the program effectively raises awareness among participants about practical actions that can be undertaken to safeguard the environment.

Results and Project Relevance

The use of new heat sources makes it possible to reduce emissions. 

The program is relevant because it takes actions that can counteract the climate change and it raises public awareness of how to consciously reduce the emission of damaging substances into the atmosphere.

Challenges: High costs of modernization of buildings.


Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices-12: “Mój Prąd” Program/ The “My Electricity” program

Partner: PFA, Poland

Identification of the initiative/programme: “Mój Prąd” Program/ The “My Electricity” program

Promoter(s): Polish Government

Website: https://mojprad.gov.pl/

Country: Poland

Language (s): Polish

Group(s) addressed: The “My Electricity” program in Poland is specifically targeted towards household owners who are keen on installing photovoltaic panels. By doing so, they can produce their own electricity hailing from renewable energy sources, thus transitioning towards a greener lifestyle.

Objectives

  • Improving energy efficiency: A primary objective of the “My Current” programme entails promoting sustainable and efficient energy use. Initially, by urging residents to invest in photovoltaic installations, a pathway towards more eco-friendly energy consumption is gradually created. Furthermore, solar panels empower individuals to generate their own electricity from a renewable source, subsequently reducing reliance on conventional energy sources. Consequently, this not only facilitates a shift towards greener energy but also, importantly, fosters a culture of self-sufficiency and environmental responsibility among the community.
  • Promoting renewable energy sources: Initially, the program sets forth to augment the proportion of renewable energy within Poland’s energy concoction. For instance, photovoltaic installations serve as a prime example of renewable technologies that notably contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, thereby lessening environmental impact.
  • Reducing energy bills: The “My Electricity” program is designed to help households reduce their electricity costs by producing their own electricity. Excess energy produced can be sold to the grid, allowing for further savings.
  • Supporting the development of the photovoltaic industry: The “My Current” program plays a pivotal role in advancing the photovoltaic industry in Poland by encouraging investments in solar installations. This initiative, as a result, stands to not only generate new employment opportunities but also to invigorate the economy further.
  • Improving air quality: Through the adoption of photovoltaic power generation, the program actively contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This effort, in essence, not only leads to better air quality but also exerts a profound positive influence on public health and the environment—a critical step in our ongoing journey toward sustainability.
  • Diversification of energy sources: With a strategic focus on broadening Poland’s energy portfolio, the program sets out to increase the mix of energy sources. This strategic move is expected to bolster the nation’s energy security significantly.
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices
Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: “Mój Prąd” Program/ “My Electricity” program

Programme Overview and Methodology

Brief description of the programmes: The “My Electricity” program is a government initiative in Poland to support households in installing photovoltaic panels. The main objective of the “My Current” program is to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, as well as to increase the share of renewable energy in the Polish energy mix.

Training/learning methodology applied: Initially, the program advocates for the adoption of new heat sources and commits to offering support in acquiring these and phasing out older sources.

Competences developed: Specifically, it fosters a contribution to environmental protection.

Structured – learning/training topics covered: Moreover, the program elevates people’s awareness regarding actionable steps toward environmental protection.

Results and Project Relevance

Firstly, the project significantly contributed to an increase in the number of photovoltaic installations. Subsequently, this led to a notable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, marking a direct positive impact on the environment. Furthermore, participants and stakeholders experienced financial savings, highlighting the economic benefits of the initiative. Additionally, there was an increased awareness of energy efficiency and sustainable practices among the community. Lastly, the development of the photovoltaic industry was another key outcome, indicating growth and innovation within this sector.

Challenges

  • Upfront Costs: There are some upfront costs involved in installing photovoltaic panels, which can be a challenge for some households. Although the program offers financial support, there is still a need to invest your own funds, especially if the system is large.
  • Application process: Initiating the application and navigating through the qualifying process for the program can be quite time-consuming and necessitates proper documentation. Moreover, grasping and adhering to all the formal requirements can pose a challenge.
  • Technical side of installation: Transitioning to the technical aspect, the design and installation of a photovoltaic system demands some level of technical knowledge. Particularly, selecting the appropriate system and configuring it for a specific location emerge as significant challenges.
  • Installer availability and quality: Subsequently, there arises a need to opt for a reputable and professional installer, a task that can be arduous in certain regions. Erroneously choosing an installer can adversely impact the quality and performance of the system.
  • Variable weather conditions: On another note, the efficiency of photovoltaic systems may be compromised by fluctuating weather conditions. For instance, Poland experiences seasons with varying amounts of sunlight, which in turn, can affect system performance.
  • Local regulations: Moreover, shifting the focus to regulatory frameworks, disparities in local and regional regulations can impede the process of installing and utilising photovoltaic energy.
  • Government policy: Last but not least, changes in laws or funding sources can lessen the appeal of the My Electricity program.

Why is this relevant for the project? The programme is relevant because it takes actions that can counteract climate change and raises public awareness of how to consciously reduce the emission of damaging substances into the atmosphere.

Agro-Entrepreneurship Best Practices: Conclusion

In conclusion, the Grand Friend Project exemplifies the positive impact that intergenerational programmes can have in the realm of agro-entrepreneurship. Initiatives highlighted in “Best Practices in Agro-Entrepreneurship: Lifelong Learning Highlights from the Grand Friend Project” demonstrate the critical role of fostering a culture of ongoing learning and teamwork. Such a culture is essential for advancing sustainable agricultural practices. This collaborative approach not only promotes food security but also provides a pathway for addressing climate change challenges.

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