Online, State-of-the-Art Agribusiness Education for Farmer Led Entreprises in the Agri-Food Value Chain

Agricultural markets and farming have changed considerably over the last decades across Europe and agricultural production faces more and more social and environmental challenges. Family farms are a central element of EU agricultural policy and the viability of many family farms is under threat. There are large differences between Member States. Cooperatives have a high market share in countries like Denmark and Finland, but much lower in countries like Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, or Cyprus – in some of these countries data are sketchy or not available. The average market share of all agricultural cooperatives in the EU is 40% while in Romania is less than 5%. Co-operative farming is seen as one possible way to overcome some of these constraints to growth though it is not widely practiced in Romania and at the present time. The benefits of cooperation may be obvious to potential collaborators but having the confidence and the necessary skills to effectively work together in a cooperative enterprise needs to be developed. However, agri-business consultants need to be trained in the principles of B2B co-operation in order to be able to provide necessary support to farmers & other rural entrepreneurs. Agricultural education levels of farmers in Europe are generally low. Moreover, cooperation business models and the specific management policies and practices are not taught in many agriculture universities. The aim of this project is to provide faculty an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills about cooperative business models in the agriculture sector necessary to educate agriculture students for further work as leaders, managers, staff, consultants, members of co-operative enterprises in the agriculture sector.

The specific objectives of our project are
- To tackle current skill gaps and mismatches in the agrifood sector through: the design and development of curricula that meet the learning needs of students, relevant to the labor market and societal needs, as well as farmers, farm managers, managers of agri-food sector enterprises and producer groups, agri-food cooperatives, advisors, researchers through better use of open and online, multi-disciplinary learning and through intensive dissemination of intellectual outputs relevant for professionals in this sector. Focusing on cooperative business models in the agriculture sector is necessary to educate agriculture students for further work as leaders, managers, staff, consultants, members of co-operative enterprises in the agriculture sector.
- To reinforce cooperation between higher education institutions and employers in the agrifood sector, cooperative enterprises on real-life cases by fostering collaboration between teachers, students, and enterprises on entrepreneurial and trans-disciplinary projects and by facilitating the work through better use of blended, work based, learning, involving direct experiences in enterprises and business field trips.

The direct results will be that 15 Romanian HEI teachers from USAMV will be trained in management of teaching farmer-led enterprises in the agri-food chain and other 10 HEI teachers from other universities will receive this information directly through the multiplication events organized by USAMV, 19 teachers from all participating HEI will share experience in teaching agri-food enterprise management and cooperatives in the short joint staff training events, and working/teaching together during the ISP, and 9 enterprise managers and consultants will share and also improve their knowledge and skills by working together with teachers on teaching materials that respond to real-life needs of the enterprises; 24 Master students will be trained during the project in the Intensive Study programme in Romania and use all teaching materials developed on the virtual education platform of USAMV; over 50 Master students will use the teaching materials produced each year; 70 farmers and farmer led collective enterprises cooperatives will have direct access to the Education Kit with practical tools. Starting an agriculture cooperative start-up, business planning and financial management of an agriculture cooperative in the context of agri-food value chain and an online guide of start-up and business planning in agriculture and over 500 farmers during project lifetime and many more which will use the online version. The case studies, the videos, as well as public policies and the teaching materials will continue to be used by the faculty at USAMV beyond the project duration for the teaching in various disciplines in the first year of the Agribusiness Master programme.

Principal investigators
Hanisch, Markus Prof. Dr. (Details) (Economic rurality Associations)

Sonstige internationale öffentliche Mittelgeber

Duration of project
Start date: 11/2019
End date: 06/2023

Last updated on 2022-27-10 at 07:05