From global challenges to local ones: linking communities around the world

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How do you connect young students from the developed world with people living in a small village in Kenya? How can you fight to preserve local Italian seed varieties that are becoming extinct, even if you are at the other side of the planet? How can you link a grand challenge (like feeding the increasing population of the planet) to a very local one (like helping a rural area to become more attractive to young families)? In the context of the CAPSELLA project, we are trying to make these exact connections and put the collective brain power of people interested in solving the pressing problems that matter.… Click to read the full post

What is Sarantaporo?

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As mentioned in an earlier post, Agroknow participates in the Horizon 2020 EU-funded CAPS project, namely CAPSELLA. CAPSELLA project aims at developing novel ICT solutions tailored to the needs and requirements of farmers’ local communities and networks and other actors engaged in agrobiodiversity To do so, CAPSELLA use a strong bottom-up participatory approach, elicited through physical meetings with local communities and a dedicated online platform. In CAPSELLA, farmers’ local communities and networks interact with agroecology, agri-food and ICT experts to test, validate and select the innovative applications and tools best suited to their needs. 

In this post, we are going to learn about Sarantoporo.gr, a very active and promising community in Northern Greece that promote sustainable development in the remote, isolated, mountainous region of Elassona municipality and it participates also at NetCommons, another CAPS EU funded project under Horizon 2020.… Click to read the full post

CAPS projects: An Interview with Panayotis Antoniadis

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As mentioned in an earlier post, the European Commission has launched the Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovations (CAPS), platforms that aim to combine data of interest to specific communities, such as social media, distributed knowledge as well as data from real environments (Internet of Things) in order to create awareness of problems and possible solutions requesting collective efforts, enabling new forms of social innovation. To this context, many CAPS projects are activated in various thematic areas, like CAPSELLA where Agroknow is a part of the project consortium. In this post, we are going to learn more about two other CAPS projects (MAZI, NetCommons) through our interview with Panayotis Antoniadis, Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich and co-founder of the nonprofit organization nethood.org.… Click to read the full post

Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation

Image Source: https://canadianartjunkie.com/2012/08/30/christi-belcourt-honouring-the-spirit/

The role of local communities in the development and maintenance of traditional, local knowledge is priceless. Different practices, assets and approaches are available at a local/regional level and exhibit both differences and similarities with the ones available in local communities in other locations. This is a highly important aspect in the agrifood sector where various related use cases exist, such as in the case of the preservation of local plant (and animal) varieties and breeds, agricultural practices adapted to local micro-environments, food production processes adapted to the specific needs of rural population in specific contexts etc.

Such knowledge reflects on the lifestyle, food production and consumption patterns and its accumulation is based on participatory democratic processes, passing from one generation to the other, openly shared among the community members.… Click to read the full post

How can we use data for improving food production?

Source: http://www.ictsd.org/bridges-news/bridges/news/fao-oecd-food-security-key-to-g-20-growth-goals

Food security is one of the hottest topics nowadays; with a constantly growing population that is expected to reach (and even exceed) 9 billion by 2020, and the traditional food production systems reaching their limits, new, innovative ways need to be followed in order to ensure that there will be enough food for everyone in the upcoming years. What is strange is that at the same time, huge amounts of food are going to waste on a daily basis; in EU alone, more than 100 million tones of food are going to waste annually.

Intensive and industrial agriculture exhibit higher yields of cultivated crops but the price is high: The (increasingly high) use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers, among other chemicals, has its toll on the ecosystems, flora and fauna at a small and larger scale.… Click to read the full post

The Stevia Hellas cooperative & Agro-Know

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The Stevia Hellas Coop is a cooperative of farmers in the region of Fthiotida, based in the town of Lamia (Greece). It is bringing together farmers that are cultivating Stevia as a plant that forms the basis for natural sweetener products that can substitute sugar. Their first product is called La Mia Stevia and is at the final stages of packaging and pilot distribution.

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Agro-Know is working closely farmer cooperatives (like Stevia Hellas Coop and the Danish Agricultural Advisory Service – DAAS) in facilitating access of the farmers to information that they need. For Stevia Hellas Coop, we will investigate how our online service AKstem.com can enhance the Stevia Hellas Coop web site with a micro-site that will offer to farmers a customisable and dynamic view over scientific and market information that are of relevance to stevia (at any stage of its planting, harvesting, processing, packaging and marketing) from credible sources around the world.… Click to read the full post