Focus 1 – Documento di base

The promotion and transfer of knowledge and innovation undoubtedly represent transversal priorities for the European Union in rural development for the programme period 2014-2020 (see. Article 5 – Reg. (EU) 1305/2013 and point 4 of the account).

Closely linked to the broader context of knowledge transfer and innovation are consultancy services in agriculture, which in this context assume enough strategic importance to be especially funded through a specific measure of Regulation (EU) 1305/2013.

Article 15 underlines that consultancy services, relief to and assistance in the management of agricultural enterprises are designed to help agricultural, forestry, other land managers and SMEs established in rural areas to improve the economic and environmental performance, the respect of the climate and the climate resilience of their farm, business and/or investment.

The consulting services will offer personalized advice to agricultural enterprises on at least one of the “issues” noted in paragraph 4 of Article 15 of Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 and listed below:

  1. a) obligations arising from SMR and/or GAEC;
  2. b) agricultural practices beneficial for the climate and the environment;
  3. c) modernization, competitiveness, supply chain integration, innovation;
  4. d) Water Framework Directive;
  5. e) Integrated Pest Management (Article 14 of Directive 2009/128/EC);
  6. f) occupational safety and health;
  7. g) advice specific to the first settlement.

The “agencies” providing counselling should therefore be multidisciplinary, if they intend offering advice covering 360° and are made up of experienced professionals from multiple industries, or specialists if their advice focuses exclusively on one theme. In these areas the agronomist, as a highly qualified figure, may play an important role when called upon to provide expert advice and facilitate the transfer of knowledge and innovation.