Physical and on-line private training initiative for local farmers in rural areas and small towns, to promote and support the conversion to organic agriculture
Organic Informal Business School is a private initiative started in 2012, organized as an itinerant school that operates for free in rural areas and small towns in the North-West Region of Romania, lessons still available on the Youtube channel also. It consists of training sessions for the local farmers and interested stakeholders, teaching the steps to follow for developing an organic business, by increasing their competences in order to convert and develop organic farmland and cultures but also to extend to agri-tourism.
The trainer specialized in organic farming is Phd. Avram FITIU, professor at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Cluj-Napoca, in partnership for the training venue with local public authorities, professional associations and schools.
Currently it is a private funded initiative and operates for free; it has generated a wide network of interested beneficiaries, which need further assistance in actually developing the business plan and attract financing. The cost of return is from consultancy, advice in view of certification and from technical advice for agri-issues related to the organic cultures.
It is a private funded initiative that operates for free; the costs of return are from additional consultancy and advice in view of certification. The initiative is supported by local public authorities and public schools, as venue and reaching the local target group.
Evidence of success
- over 1.500 farmers trained in over 50 villages
- over 150 business ideas generated in organic farming and along the value chain such as pigs and sheep farm (short value chain, production, processing and sale), energy crops (with willow acacia, paulownia), organic forest, integrated sales systems of organic products by association of several farmers, culture of roses in protected areas (greenhouses, solariums) integrated farm.
- lack of financing of the initiative,
- one person based initiative
- need to additional training in marketing and sales for the attendees
- no further organic conversion due high taxes of certification
Potential for learning or transfer
In Romania constant public training in organic farming is lacking. Further consultancy cost of return model based on free delivered training is transferable. On a wider scale, private trainers network would be more effective in reaching wider audience.
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