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Best Practice in Agricultural Advisory Extension Services

A major international conference on supporting farmer innovation, though best practice in advisory and extension services, is taking place in Dublin today. Organised by Teagasc, the event is taking place in the Aviva stadium, Dublin, today, Thursday, 1 November and can be viewed on the webinar.

The conference was officially opened by Sean Kelly, Member of the European Parliament. He said: “There is a growing recognition in Europe of the importance of competitiveness and sustainability of agricultural production, and of the need for more widespread use of new technologies and practices on farms. There are clear signals that there will be targeted support for improved knowledge transfer from research to farms. There is also recognition that Europe has become too dependent on imported food and agricultural products.”

Teagasc Director Professor Gerry Boyle said: “On-farm productivity is driven by technology adoption. However the data shows evidence of a technology adoption gap within the agricultural sector as a whole, but the data also highlight the critical importance of advisory extension contact in achieving technology adoption. There are some very strong linkages but there is room for improvement and a need for us to set ourselves the goal of improving the level of interaction. We will look to involve farmers in working on solutions to devise simpler and more effective tools. “

Dr Tom Kelly, Director of Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc said: “Teagasc as an agent for change is active in the continuous evolution of advisory and education programmes and in the development of new tools, methods of working and policy responsive programmes and initiatives.”

Speakers from the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United States, Australia and Northern Ireland bring a broad range of experiences of how support services for farmers are delivered in other countries. The conference continues throughout the day.