Project

    PROJECT NAME - CooPerformance - Digital, state-of-the-art agribusiness education for farmer led entreprises in the agri-food value chain (CooPerformance)

     

    Project Coordinator: USAMV of Bucharest, Romania

     

    Agriculture, agri-food industry and distribution sectors represent more than 5% of the European added value and 7% of employment, more than any other manufacturing sector. A large part of the farms are quite small, in particular in eastern and southern parts of the EU, such as Romania and Spain . The food chain is confronted with imbalances of power given the lower economic size of farms and the end links of the chain, retailers, in the context of increased globalization, concentration in the retail sector with main consequence of downward pressure on farm-gate prices, farmers not being able to cover production costs. To increase their bargaining power farmers unite in cooperatives. Agricultural cooperatives represent 40% of the all supply, collection, and processing and marketing in the agriculture sector in EU.

    European agri-cooperative united in COGECA are recognized by the European institutions as representatives of farmers (currently there is no such representation from Romania). Agricultural education for many years has been aimed at increasing subject knowledge of farmers, but, as a consequence of the restructuring of the agri-food complex, different kinds of competencies are needed, including entrepreneurship, cooperative businesses, client orientation, sustainability, and innovation. Agricultural education institutes are therefore called to address better all these topics and to become a vital part of cooperative approaches to solving the problems of rural development. Professionals in the agriculture and agribusiness sector need to be educated and /or trained in order to be able to provide necessary support to farmers & other rural entrepreneurs.

    All three participating HEI of the project have a high specialization in the agri-food sector, but still need to improve the training of teachers and students in the field of cooperative enterprises and related good practices and policies in the agri-food sector. Cooperation business models and its specific management policies and practices are not taught in any of the agriculture universities in Romania. In this global frame the specific objectives of our project are: to design and develop a European curricula for Higher Education focusing on cooperative business models in the agriculture sector necessary to educate agriculture students for further work as leaders, managers, staff, consultants, members of co-operative enterprises in the agriculture sector including through better use of open, digital multi-disciplinary learning and to promote excellence in teaching and skills development through training academics from the participating HEI in the field of cooperative business models in the agri-business sector and exchange of good practices in new and innovative pedagogies of the related topics.


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