A Community-Supported Agriculture collaborative training programme
31 August 2019
Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between farmers and the local community, in which responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared. CSA has been coined and implemented autonomously by active citizens committing to local farms in many countries in Europe. CSA models develop according to local contingencies. For this reason, they have provided sustainable means of income and access to markets for family farmers, who are also closely interconnected with local communities and the environment.
The CSAct ! purpose is to address the CSA members’ and farmers’ needs and to facilitate the spread of CSA initiatives by the transmission of knowledge, skills and competences from experienced stakeholders to local communities. Even though each partner organisation has already been advocating for CSA and creating spaces for experience-sharing, these activities have remained focused on basic knowledge. CSAct! is a European collaborative training programme based on the experience gained from a previous Erasmus+ project (“Be part of CSA!”) and aims at structuring an educational path for CSA. Urgenci and its partners will enhance and extend the CSA European training offer, reframing the core training curriculum and deploying new materials.
As the focus will be on long-term sustainability of CSA models the choice of the content will be particularly addressed to CSA farmers and economic stability. Moreover, “CSAct!” will develop an ambitious e-learning strategy to increase accessibility and reach of the learning material.
The “CSAct!” project is built on three main pillars:
1) To expand the European core training program on CSA by:
- tailoring a modular training to the specific needs of new contexts (Italy, Spain, Greece and Poland)
- enhancing educational materials, with a focus on CSA farmers and the profitability of CSA farms, and developing e-training capsules in accordance with the modular propositions
- running, evaluating and improving the advanced program
2) To ensure the dissemination and the accessibility of the training program to various communities by:
- building expert capacity for staff and multiplicators through a demanding mentoring process
- making the training program accessible at European level, implementing a digital learning strategy and organizing vibrant local and international multiplier events
3) To ensure its long-term sustainability, partners will build and consolidate new alliances at local and international levels.
50 adult learners will engage in the training activities, mostly CSA farmers and future multiplicators. More than 120 active participants, farmers and consumers, will attend local multiplier events on CSA (as we hope most of them will participate in the two sessions). At least 70 and up to 140 European CSA members are expected at the international dissemination event in Greece.
Our project provides an innovative European training programme of 5 modules. This modularity is essential to allow flexible combination of contents by tailoring it to the exact needs of the target groups. It also encourages the participation of both the knowledgeable and the beginners. Peer learning methods will ensure a learner-focused methodology pushing adult learners to form, commit to, and maintain CSA communities.
“CSAct!” contributes to inclusive and solidarity-based European societies. Indeed, the democratic model of CSA communities is one of the key elements project partners want to build together: it is a bottom-up, participatory development process in which farmers and citizens take centre stage.
- Improve the modular core training programme, adapting, upgrading and expanding the training modules insering a fifth module and a “CSA farmer booklet”
- Develop a “Strategy for CSA Knowledge transfer” toolkit
- Implement a digital learning strategy for CSA
- Implementing the core educational CSA training programme in 4 countries (IT, ESP, GR and POL)
- Advanced CSA Course (with module 5) in 5 countries (IT, ESP, GR, POL and HU)
- International Multiplier Event in Greece (December 2018)
Transnational Training Activities
- Farmer-to-Farmer Training Event in January 2018 (IT)
- Train the trainers Event in March 2018 (HU)