European research and action project PRO AKIS investigated agricultural advisory services within the context of Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS) and developed policy recommendations for strengthening European agricultural innovation systems.

PRO AKIS Policy Recommendations

EU-Commission is looking for farmers, advisors, researchers and other experts who wish to join one of these Focus Groups to share knowledge, propose practical innovative solutions, identify opportunities and draw on experiences derived from related existing projects.

Several EUFRAS members from Ireland, Switzerland, Latvia, Germany and France have been supporting EU-Commission since more than 4 years in developing European innovation partnership as 2 new main-stream policy instruments: 

  1. On the regional and national level in rural development programs to create “operational groups for innovation” and 
  2. On EU-level  in EU-research supporting policy Horizon 2020 by contributing to the SCAR-SWG-AKIS (standing committee on agriculture research, strategic working group on agriculture innovation systems development) and the  2 new applied research project types of “multi-actor- approaches and thematic networks”. 


EIP-Agri agriculture & innovation

Regional Contact Points:



A list and a short description of most of agro-food-related thematic networks in Horizon 2020. In more than 80% of all agro-food-related thematic networks you can contact EUFRAS members.

In European countries, the cultivation of fertigated crops frequently suffers from a scarcity of water, and the intensity of cultivation poses significant potential risks to water quality.

The main objective of the FERTINNOWA thematic network is to create a meta-knowledge database of innovative technologies and practices for the fertigation of horticultural crops. FERTINNOWA will also build a knowledge exchange platform to evaluate existing and novel technologies (innovation potential, synergies, gaps, barriers) for fertigated crops and ensure wide dissemination to all stakeholders involved of the most promising technologies and best practices.

A multi-actor integrated approach will be used through the FERTINNOWA platform which will involve various stakeholders (researchers, growers, policy-makers, industry, environmental groups etc.) at several levels including the socio-economic and regulatory level (national and European) with a special focus on the EU Water Framework Directive and Nitrate Directive. Information will be gathered at national level to feed a European benchmark study that will evaluate and compare existing technologies used at various horticulture sectors, including vegetables, fruit and ornamentals in different climate zones.

All tools, databases and other resources generated will be shared within the consortium and the stakeholders’ group and will be made available to the broader scientific community, policy-makers, the industry and the public at large. FERTINNOWA will help the growers to implement innovative technologies in order to optimize water and nutrient use efficiency thus reducing the environmental impact.

Expected results

Close the gap between knowledge and growers with regards to fertigated crops through the gathering of knowledge, state-of-the-art, and innovative solutions, sharing of this knowledge, best technologies and practices, and the continuous involvement of the growers
Support to action: including water reuse and recycling, water and waste-water treatment with recovery of resources, water governance, and decision support systems and monitoring
Harmonise horticulture with essential natural resources on which farming depends and ameliorate the management of natural resources – in line with environmental requirements – to increase horticultural productivity and output sustainability
Increase the application of water-related solutions and validation of at least 8 innovative technologies and best practices which will result in the further development of sustainable water solutions for fertigated crops
Showcase of relevant exchanged technologies by consortium partners to local growers during field visits
Provide growers with effective informative and dissemination tools in the different languages on how to implement and use the appointed technologies.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 689687. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.



EUFRAS network is engaged in two of Horizon2020 projects - Ok-Net Arable and Fertinnowa. 

EUFRAS is taking a coordinating role in rural advisor qualification and certification in Europe by joining the IALB competence development standard CECRA (Certificate for European Consultants in Rural Areas). On the 15th of June within the 54th IALB Conference and 3rd EUFRAS Meeting in Solothurn, Switzerland EUFRAS Chairman of the Board Tom Kelly and IALB President Edda Albers signed the Cooperation and Usage Agreement on CECRA between IALB and EUFRAS, that constitutes the basis of the involvement of EUFRAS in CECRA. 

A good number of EUFRAS member organizations already pronounced interest to become CECRA partner (Regional Certification Body) and/or CECRA Module Provider, being partner in the pending Erasmus+ application “Upscaling CECRA” or having actively participated in the CECRA-Workshop in April 2015 in Landshut. It is also planned to deliver fast track training the trainer event for very experienced trainers within EUFRAS membership who are keen to start the training process.

The Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, LRATC offered to host the EUFRAS CECRA Office.

Rīgas iela 34, Ozolnieki, Ozolnieku pagasts, Ozolnieku novads, LV-3018, Latvija
Tel.: +371 63050220
Fax: +371 63022264

Details on CECRA are described at