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61st IALB|11th EUFRAS|8th SEASN International Conference 2022 Galicia

The three rural extension networks IALB, EUFRAS and SEASN, together with the University of Santiago de Compostela, are organising the International Conference on Rural Extension 2022 in Lugo (Galicia-Spain) from 21-25 June 2022. The conference is trilingual: German, English and Spanish.

Conference theme and focus
In rural areas, challenges for farms are increasing: changing agricultural policy objectives, growing environmental demands, out-of-control prices and costs, digitalisation and unexpected events such as the COVID crisis. In addition, problems on farms are increasing as they have to enter new markets and face increasing competition. They also have to deal with problems with employees, family issues or the change of generations, etc. have to be overcome, which may eventually lead to the closure or perhaps even the disappearance of the farms.

This is a major challenge because the complexity of the system in which farming activities take place, as well as the fact that people are at the centre of everything, makes the role of rural extension services increasingly necessary and important.

It is therefore necessary to strengthen the role of extension workers in the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) in general and to improve their links with the other actors in the AKIS, which, together with improving their methodological and technical skills, will be crucial for the future. A central theme of the conference is how to improve innovative knowledge sharing and transfer in rural areas.

Rural extension needs to know how to support, promote, network and advise actors in this process in the right way. This is an even greater and more important challenge considering that important issues such as food safety, environmental protection, climate change mitigation and animal welfare depend on its success.

Also, from 2023 onwards, the implementation of enhanced cross-compliance, organic schemes and other instruments will require advisors to make additional efforts to implement them properly in order to achieve a smooth transition to a sustainable agricultural system.

The conference venue of Lugo is located on the last stretch of the Way of St. James, which many pilgrims walk to find themselves and to reflect on life. Rural extension in Europe is also setting out on its journey: extension workers need to constantly update their knowledge and keep refreshing their skills, which is a major challenge to which this international conference aims to contribute through lectures and presentations as well as debates, workshops and technical excursions to farms and farm product processing plants. The international 61st IALB|11th EUFRAS|8th SEASN meeting 2022 Galicia will provide a platform for discussion and exchange of knowledge and experiences useful for improving the situation of rural areas in Europe. Advice on the way!

Find out more on the conference webpage!