TIn 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN, committed itself in ending hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (2nd SDG), an ambitious goal, since roughly 800 million people worldwide suffer from hunger and the demand- by 2050 -will be to produce 70% more food.
Unfortunately, the reality nowadays is that agriculture’s share of global GDP has shrunk to just 3%, intensifying the hunger and food scarcity problem, because very little innovation and advancements in technology have been taken in this sector to allow efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly farming and agriculture in the frames of Agriculture 4.0.
All partner countries are facing issues relating to farming and agriculture, with farmers struggling with the challenges of food safety, climate change, scarcity of natural resources, and more. Even though, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of Europe, made an attempt to redesign and modernise the sector in 2013, to lead to far-reaching changes to strengthen the position of farmers within the food production chain, farming and agricultural operations still function in the “traditional” way without following the advancements of Agriculture 4.0.
Having all these in mind, we believe that our project PRISM as a collaboration among 7 partner institutions (2 from Poland, Italy, Malta, N. Macedonia, Greece, and Cyprus), will contribute to the development of an Open Education Resource for VET trainers to meet the farmers long-term need for education, towards the innovation and modernization of farming and agriculture in the frames of Agriculture 4.0 to secure their livelihood in their sector over time. The purpose of the project is an international synergy between these 7 European organisations with the same need -TO HELP VET TRAINERS REDEFINE A SUSTAINABLE SECTOR BASED ON AGRICULTURE 4.0 THROUGH A VET OPEN EDUCATION RESOURCE.
Having as target groups VET trainers, agriculture industry stakeholders, technology experts involved in advancements in technology in relation to agriculture and robotic systems, we propose a project having the following objectives:
1. To design innovative training contents and methodologies that promote farming and agriculture relevant to Agriculture 4.0,
2. To increase the professional development (knowledge, skills, competences) of VET trainers of each partner and of other relevant stakeholders working on training centers and public institutions, in Agriculture 4.0, to effectively support farmers in redefining a sustainable sector in farming and agriculture,
3. To design an Open Education Resource for Agriculture 4.0, to guide trainers use the project results in their training.The e-Learning platform, as part of the Open Education Resource, will be specifically developed to work as a toolkit for the VET trainers to benefit their teaching of farmers by offering online training opportunities.
During the project, the VET trainers of each partner are expected to be guided to teach farmers through the use of a Beginner’s Guide, a collection of Case-Studies and a VET Curriculum on Agriculture 4.0. The material and content developed, will be used by trainers to produce the MODULES that will be used to train farmers through the e-Learning platform, as part of the Open Education Resource, in the form of webinars on Agriculture 4.0.
During the project, an Open Education Resource is expected to be developed as a resource of European value for all interested parties, such as farmers, trainers, relevant stakeholders dealing with farming and agriculture, offering valuable information on Agriculture 4.0 in the form of articles, and ebooks,discussion forums, digital videos and digital stories produced by various target groups (such as success stories of farmers, technology experts on Agriculture 4.0, etc), and many more. During the project, a collection of Case-Studies of Agriculture 4.0 is expected to be prepared including applications of the Industry 4.0 on farming and agriculture to allow easier assimilation of the philosophy of Agriculture 4.0 and it will be included in the Open Education Resource in the form of an ebook, digital videos, and storyboards. On the project’s completion, the VET trainers of each partner will have acquired the knowledge, skills, and competences to effectively train farmers on the importance of Agriculture 4.0 in securing their career through redefining a sustainable sector in the frames of Agriculture 4.0.
Farmers, on their side, will become well-educated in Agriculture 4.0 and well-updated in the latest technologies and intelligence and mobile-based tools used in farming and agriculture, broadening their opportunities to redefine a sustainable sector based on Agriculture 4.0. All end products will work as dissemination tools and will have a European and international value for all interested stakeholders, offering valuable information on the importance of Agriculture 4.0.