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SEMA project awarded at the 2017 annual IALB/EUFRAS-conference

During the annual conference of IALB and EUFRAS taking place in Münster-Germany in June 2017, SEMA-project was awarded for its Mentoring approach included to the training system for entrepreneurship in multifunctional agriculture. The importance of exchange and learning from farmer to farmer and from entrepreneur to entrepreneur was highlighted by the Jury.

Europes farmers are facing multiple challenges from the market as well as from society. The other side of this medal is chances lying in there: in the market and in interaction with society. Seeing and taking these chances successfully with sustainable results for single farm and the region is a sign of remarkable entrepreneurial action of farmers within multifunctional farming approaches.

From long-term advisory experience, we all know that there is no average farming in real life. It is always the single and specific situation with its specific challenges and chances. We know that volatile markets are stressing single farming enterprises. But only as long as they are strongly linked to so called market price, which is highly depending on political choice in form of funding or limitations of market access. Yes, there is world market, but it is not a free market at all.

We see very good concepts – from an economic point of view – in every scale of farming. But of course, low scale farming delivering „just“ market commodities is no more a real income basis for the whole family below a certain number of animals or hectares managed. And at the same time, economic results of quite small units are impressing due to their market access, their powerful network of the branches and their excellent diversified income or big share in the added value chain.

Everything is still possible. However, to reach satisfying results is a bigger entrepreneurial challenge than ever.

Within this challenging and chanceful field, SEMA-project developed relevant online-courses and examples of successful entrepreneurial experiences showing the broad field of multifunctional agriculture.

Highlighting the importance of added value and attraction for entrepreneurs and young farmers starting up is a matchmaking platform enabling to get in contact for a mentoring relationship between mentor and mentee.

Matchmaking Platform for enabling Mentoring

The matchmaking is based on very simple profiles showing the concrete interests in three main-fields:

• Agriculture

• Multifunctionality/ Diversification

• Entrepreneurship

Here you can get directly to the platform.

Inspiring case studies

From bee keeping to landscape conservation systems based on goat keeping up to pig leasing concept with traditional regional breeds – there is a very diverse picture of successful approaches in multifunctional farming adapted to regional situation and demands. The volatility of the enterprises described is often lower because the farmers serve niche markets or cover whole value chain following their agricultural production on their own. They have deeper or better market access. They are able to make product or price differentiation. The result is not only a good one from an economic point of view but as well from the ecological and social point of view.

Take a deeper look at these case studies, and you can see very good examples of farming not only made of a maximum revenue a year but of low volatility and long term perspectives of the business concept. Entrepreneurship is crucial for the future success of farming, and within this multifunctionality and sustainability become key more and more. In farming over all but especially for accessing niche markets or reaching deeper entry to the added value chain.

For the entrepreneurs amongst us, this is attractive and there will be a lot of farmers with excellent results from the sustainable point of view: economically, environmentally and socially speaking.

We – the SEMA project team – feel honored by the award received in Münster and we are looking forward to furthering excellent examples from practice

Dive into awarded SEMA project! And take the chance of a learning „from farmer to farmer“!

Picture credit: Johannes Dreer