FAS in Practice

Farm Advisory Services

Establishing a Living Lab in North West Tunisia

The objective of FASTER is to support the Farm Advisory Systems sustainability in Tunisia by enabling the application of innovative solutions, sharing knowledge and best practices, and by mainstreaming of research results and technology to local farmers and policy-makers linked to forestry and agricultural sectors who need to face climate change and related challenges.

To that end, the project FASTER provides a series of Farm Advisory Services for the targeted groups of interests. It includes the implementation of a Living Lab, organization of Two Spring Schools, and the establishment of a Knowledge Hub and an E-learning platform.

Learn more about the FASTER Living Lab, different activities, the stakeholders involved and the study area in the respective sections of this page.

Living Labs in general

Living labs are a tool for promoting open innovation, an approach designed to enhance cooperation between multiple actors sharing a same stake, such as researchers, public administration, companies, end- users, and other stakeholders. Despite the multiple different implementations, Living Labs share certain common elements that are central to the approach:

Characteristics of FASTER Living lab

FASTER Project Living lab focuses on knowledge transfer on adaptation to climate change strategies between researchers in the field of water, soil and forest management, and practitioners engaged in Farm Advisory System in Tunisia. 

The living FAS-Lab is intended to provide an opportunity to take up the developed research knowledge into professional praxis, creating a dynamic tool for improved FAS implementation. The process would allow researchers and practitioners of different profiles to reflect on the challenges of adaptation and co-produce solutions.

The living lab to be developed as part of the FASTER project aims to: 

Integrate research results
on adaptation into FAS.
The living lab aims to enhance the knowledge exchange between researchers and practitioners from the agricultural sector on solutions to adapt to climate change.
Improve FAS as a tool
for adaptation.
The living lab aims to foster addressing concrete challenges of current FAS to provide tailored support to farmers for facing the impacts of climate change.

Living Labs in practice

LIVERUR Living Lab, Dar Margoum, Tunisia

Being created as part of the LIVERUR H2020 Project, the LIVERUR project aims to expand Living Labs among rural regions. It conducts socio-economic analyzes to identify, describe and compare the differences between the new approach of Living Lab and more entrepreneurial traditional approaches (mass production, development of prices, optimizing cost structures with companies, rationalization).

AgroLivingLab, Finland

This living lab focuses on the design of technologies for agriculture and forestry,
in particular machine design and man-machine interfaces. The two main bearers
of the living lab are the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
and the Seinäjoki Technology Center.

Precision Agriculture Living Lab, Serbia

This living lab is the result of a cooperation between BioSense Center (gathering scientists in ICT, agriculture, environmental engineering, ecology etc.) and local actors in the Vojvodina region (regional government, farmers, agricultural enterprises, ICT companies etc.). .)

AgriTech Living Lab, Egypt

The objective of this living-lab is to develop the agricultural economy of Egypt through
TIC to enable farmers to:
-access to agronomic, economic information (agricultural markets) and services
for agriculture
-access to agricultural assistance services
-access to precautionary plans and programs (for water, health, forests, etc.)
-to communicate with all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to receive newsletters etc.
-buying and negotiating inputs, receiving government subsidies, etc.

Learn about all European Living Labs here

Living lab resources

In preparation of its Living Lab activities, Faster has put in place a hub to interexchange knowledge between researchers and interested people on the field.

The information presented in this section has been selected from the paper “Living Lab approach”, produced by INRGREF’s researchers. The report aims to introduce the Living Lab approach and methodologies.

The activities within FASTER to support the Farm Advisory Services

Spring Schools

Training program to enhance the transfer of knowledge between researchers, experts and farm advisory agents and professional organisations in the agriculture sector.
Read More

Co-design of Factsheets for Farm Advisory

The Living Lab workshops and meetings aim to co-design adaptation solutions and transfer scientific information so it can be taken up in farmer advice services.
Read More

Field Visits

The Tunisian team has dedicated strong efforts to explore the NW Tunisian region, aiming at establishing first contacts and gathering relevant information on the agriculture sector and interesting projects.
Read More

Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub to share the information for exploring the current situation in Tunisia regarding climate change impacts, agricultural sector, advisory services and adaptation practices.
Read More

E-learning Platform

Platform of online training related to themes on adaptation to climate change in land and water management.
Read More

Other

Consortium’s roles and responsibilities
regarding FAS activities

Multi-stakeholders platform

Based on its FAS Lab Activities, FASTER is building a Multi-stakeholder platform for improving FAS services. 

This database includes a broad variety of actors contributing or potentially interested in contributing to the living lab creation and activities.

At the date of December 2019, FASTER project multi-stakeholder platform includes 370 contacts. 

The multi-stakeholder platform aims to be varied and relevant. It integrates researchers, decision makers, PhD holders, students, engineers, advisers, trainers, as well as stakeholders with profiles related to Farm Advisory System in North West Tunisia, including farmers, farmer organizations, engineers and public administration.

Classification of the FASTER platform per speciality area

Criteria gender in the FASTER platform

Researchers

Research results on adaptation to the impacts of climate change of water,
soil and forest management
· IRESA (Institution of Agricultural
Research and Higher Education)
· INRGREF (National Research Institute
of rural engineering, Water and Forests)
· CREAF
· Lund University

Stakeholders

Experience-based knowledge on the impacts of climate change
on the agricultural sector in North-West Tunisia.
· NGO's promoting rural development
· Innovation prone farmers
· Consultants
· Technicians
· Labor unions

Public administration

Expertise on knowledge transfer by farm advisory system agents,
agricultural schools trainers and agricultural engineers.
· AVFA (Agricultural Training and Extension Agency )

Practitioners

Technical expertise in a particular area,
subject or activity.
· Europe for Business
(quality assurance and economic assessment)
· Vision Communication
(communication and
dissemination)

Description of the living lab area

Water tower of Tunisia
15% of the national territory
Mountainous with a relatively
well developed hydrographic network
One quarter of the best
agricultural land in the country
The best forest resources
Agriculture occupies
a prime position
Rainfall of
750 mm per year

High unemployment rate

Agricultural area characterized
by irrigated perimeters

About 20% of national production
(cereal, crop market, red meat, wood, etc.).

Continuous migrations that
affect nearly all of its urban and rural areas.

Lack of regional development

24% of national agricultural
jobs are in the region

Risks: water erosion and flooding,
aggravated by anthropic activities

The information presented in this section has been selected from the “State of the art report”, produced by INRGREF’s researchers. This report aims to inform on the state of the art of agricultural extension services in Tunisia and to identify its major constraints and challenges.