A new EU-funded international project aims to empower farmers and agri-business owners with digital skills in their transition to innovative technologies and sustainable practices.
SUSTAGRI4.0 has recently kicked off at a meeting at CeADR Ireland’s Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence in Dublin, where representatives from partners in Ireland, Italy, Spain and Greece discussed project objectives.
Digital technologies can support farmers in providing safe, sustainable and high-quality food, and provide opportunities to develop new business models while increasing rural attractiveness for young people, according to the project.
This support is essential due to weak technological infrastructure and high costs of technology in rural areas, according to project partners, who explained:
The project – which will run until May 2024 – is funded specifically by Léargas, an Irish not-for-profit organisation that manages international and national exchange programmes, through Erasmus+.
SUSTAGRI4.0 is based on a partnership between European universities, organisations and networks specialising in food production, education, digital skills and marketing.
The project includes an open-access online course, in which participants will develop digital and marketing key competencies with professionals in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.
Individuals will increase their own awareness of sustainability in the era of advanced technologies, and promote sustainable practices whilst also gaining a competitive edge against large-scale industries, according to SUSTAGRI4.0.
Through the online course, project partners will support the VET sector by exposing professionals to the new needs of the labour market, and contribute to the expansion of technical and digital skills taken up by learners.
The project also includes the development of an e-commerce platform, involving learners in a co-creation process that allows them to test and practise their acquired skills.
In addition, the platform will promote local producers, as well as sustainable agriculture including the reduction of food waste, project partners said.
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