Following EUFRAS interactive webinar on experience exchange regarding the solutions and measures taken within the COVID-19 pandemic, a Position paper addressing the issues rised during the dscussion was prepared and distributed within the advisory organizations of EUFRAS member countries.
The current Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting crisis response all over Europe has illustrated the importance of ensuring food security in every EU member state. The closing of outside and well as internal borders within Europe has caused major problems with the availability of different supplies in grocery stores and supermarkets thus raising the importance of domestic produce and the vital role that agricultural primary production plays in ensuring this food security. Consequently, it is in the best interests of every member state as well as the European commission to a larger extent to ensure that agricultural production will continue without interruptions regardless of the situation in the individual member state. It is the firm belief of us the undersigned presidents of European rural advisory service networks that advisory and extension services play a crucial role in ensuring the continuity of agricultural production. Thus, the availability of services and the ability for advisors to aid farmers need to be ensured even in exceptional times such as these where social distancing is essential. It is therefore necessary to classify rural advisory work as system critical services to ensure food security at EU and member-state level. Continue reading!