The 19th edition of EU Regions Week ‘Together for Recovery’ with its 300 sessions and side events was held virtually from 10th to 14th of October 2021. The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance.
During the Event NEFERTITI project jointly with other partners organized online workshop on “The role of demo farms in the Agricultural knowledge and innovation systems: a policy perspective” on October 12, 2021. The other organizers were Municipality of Westland (NL), South Ostrobothnia (FI), Tuscany (IT), Zuid-Holland (NL), Noord Holland (NL), North East Romania (RO), Pays de la Loire (FR) and Central Macedonia (GR).
The main moderator of workshop was Mr. Adrien Guichaoua – NEFERTI project coordinator. He was supported by Mr. Fabio Boscaleri – deputy leader of NEFERTITI working package 6 Policy dialogue and network sustainability. The welcome speech on behalf of consortium of the partner regions was done by Mr. Bouke Arends – Mayor municipality of Westland.
For the NEFERTITI project the policy dialogue and network sustainability are very important aspect. Very close cooperation with policy makers is set up under the project. Policy makers are being invited to NEFERTITI demo events. Also, 53 European Regions are part of NEFERTITI Network.
The speakers in Online workshop were also Mr. Gerben Bierman (Head of Unit Nature and Land Use, Province of Noord-Holland, The Netherlands), Mr. Roberto Scalacci (Director of Agricultural and Rural Development at Tuscany Region at Tuscany), Mr. Alfred Grand (Demo Organic Farmer and Member of the Mission Board for Soil Health and Food, Austria) and Mrs. Vicky Kristallidou (Deputy Director General, American Farm School, Greece). Mrs. Elsi Katainen (Member of the European Parliament and Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development ) made a video testimony.
The Online workshop emphasized the importance of peer-to-peer learning in agri-food innovation uptake, building on the experience of the NEFERTITI project. On-Farm demonstrations and peer-to-peer learning are essential to ensure new and innovative solutions and are widely deployed and adopted by farmers and the farming sector. With a strong commitment under the new Green Deal, European Farmers and the farming sector at large face ambitious environmental and sustainability targets. The workshop provided contribution to the improvement and broader adoption of policy tools related to demo events at the national and regional levels.
Also, the workshop provided relevant opportunities for Regional and Local policymakers to understand the importance of, and the need to support Demo Farms, providing interactive discussion with some outstanding hands-on examples from the practice.