As mentioned in an earlier post, one of the outcomes of the kick-off meeting of the Organic-AgriWare project back in April was to conduct face-to-face interviews with its end-users, namely researchers, advisors and farmers of the organic agriculture community. To this end, and after a fruitful communication and planning with Mrs. Ilse Ankjær Rasmussen and Mr. Tomas Nørfelt, Maritina Stavrakaki from the Agro-Know team travelled to Aarhus, Denmark, where project partners the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS) and the Knowledge Centre for Agriculture (SEGES) are located.
The interviews were arranged to take place between May 6th and 8th 2015. Following a tight schedule, the first day (May 7th) was dedicated to SEGES, where Tomas had arranged seven interviews. Five participants were advisors for the advisors working for SEGES and two participants were advisors for the farmers and farmers themselves, working in local advisory centres. This combination provided a unique input for the interviews since the same person had different perspectives on the same issue, viewing things both as advisor and farmer.
The second day (May 8th) was dedicated to ICROFS, where Ilse had arranged six interviews with people working for ICROFS and Aarhus University (specifically the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture) in Foulum, providing important feedback from the point of view of professors and senior researchers.
All the interviewees were more than happy to devote time to the interviews and answer our questions and also expressed a great interest in the online service that the project aims to build. The feedback received exceeded expectations since all the interviewees gave their own personal input and the actual difficulties they are facing when trying to better do their jobs.
As expected, different users had different needs, but some of the problems discussed during the interviews were validated by all participants. May and June are expected to be quite busy months as far as the Organic-AgriWare project is concerned with crucial milestones ahead! Until the second visit to Denmark is finalized sometime in June, Agro-Know would like to thank both Ilse and Tomas for their warm welcome, their hospitality and their help.