On the 21st and 22nd of May the eTOMATO consortium has been welcomed by a chill but sunny weather in the Belgian city of Ghent.
The University of Ghent (UGENT) has hosted the 2nd project meeting to which all the partners have participated. Despite the projects have come into action just from a few months, the topics to be discussed were several: starting from the finalization of the data collection from students, farmers, stakeholders, through questionnaires and focus groups; the replacement of the partner Franken Agro, which for personal reasons had to leave the project; the structure and organization of the Dissemination and Communication activities; the future exploitation of the reports from the data collection; the planning of the course on Multifunctional Agriculture made available by Universities.
The limited structure of the consortium, counting just of the essential number and typology of partners, certainly contributed in providing useful discussions over the course of these two days. It has been long debated, in fact, the necessity for the project to be able to provide its definitions on Multifunctional Agriculture: to be able to give cohesive responses on the manner by which farmers can reach out MA benefits, students can learn its principles, and stakeholders be able to define and study its characteristics.
One of the main objectives of the eTOMATO project is to provide MA Practitioners’ Identikit for farmers: a summary scheme in which required knowledge, competences, skills and roles of actors within MA are defined. Multifunctionality in agriculture has been defined so far by eTOMATO within the operational activities of farms under social and didactic farming, and Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs). Thus, the coordination and management leaders of the project, UNIFG and VALUEDO, have been moderating breakout sessions in which the different partners have provided their insights, opinions and experiences on how these typologies of farms should be built, and for which benefits. The key resources individualized will be made clearly available, as for eTOMATO to contribute in a practical approach on MA themes and schemes of action.
Many more insights will be presented later on in the project, especially once having finalized data collection and analysis from all partners. Next meetings will be held in Granada and Plovdiv, in which the eTOMATO partnership will equally benefit of friendly welcoming and interesting discussions.