The e-college helps Finnish farmers to carry out their main task: sustainable and profitable food production
The e-college for regenerative farming is a new, free online course, which combines improving the productivity of farming with hands-on environmental work. The online training project is a joint effort of the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) and Reaktor, known for its artificial intelligence online course ‘Elements of AI’, supported by an impressive line-up of partners. The e-college provides a comprehensive overview of regenerative farming and its main methods, whilst bearing in mind the unique features and circumstances of the participants’ farms.
Regenerative farming is a holistic approach to improving soil health and crops. Studies have shown that its methods yield benefits in terms of productivity, climate impact, water resources and marine protection, as well as biodiversity. While a number of measures have been taken at farms previously, the methods have now been compiled to address the distinct factors that come into play at Finnish farms.
”It has been great trying out these things at my own farm using trial and error. The research felt theoretical at first, but at Carbon Action I’ve experienced that it can easily be applied in practice. The reward comes not only in terms of the crop yield, but also in terms of being able to identify and fix problems in the field. If part of the field is waterlogged, for example, there are ways to fix it, and it’s rewarding to see the effect of these improvements”, farmer Jari Eerola, from Tuulos in southern Finland, describes his experiences in applying the methods introduced in the course.
The e-college for regenerative farming builds on the Carbon Action project launched by BSAG, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The Carbon Action Platform promotes development and research into accelerating soil carbon sequestration and verifying the results scientifically. The e-college will provide research and farmers’ first-hand experiences in an easy-to-grasp format, accessible to all.
”The college combines BSAG’s expertise in farming and the everyday work of farmers, with Reaktor’s know-how in service design and the creation of online courses in particular. The college for regenerative agriculture has the same goals as Elements of AI: democratising valuable information, and making it easily understandable for everybody”, says Aleksi Lumme, the Research Director of Reaktor Education.
The e-college for regenerative agriculture helps make the farmers’ work visible to the general public. In increasingly unpredictable conditions, it is essential that farmers are able to carry out their precious task: producing food for us all.
”No one acting alone can achieve the same impact as the whole food supply chain together – all the way from the fields, through processing and retail to the consumer. That’s why Sitra and the major players in the Finnish food supply chain, who are committed to ambitious sustainability goals and have already started the work through the Carbon Action platform, are supporting the e-college for regenerative agriculture. We have also received a lot of help in building the content work for example from the agricultural advisor organization ProAgria”, says Michaela Ramm-Schmidt, the Managing Director of Baltic Sea Action Group.
The online course content is based on scientific research. The partners share information about the course among their own parties of interest, increasing the visibility of the course through their own communications.
The course partners and sponsors include dairy and food company Valio, bakery and catering company Fazer, the retail and service company S Group, the food company Atria, The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), The Central Union of Swedish-speaking Agricultural Producers in Finland (SLC), the agricultural advisor organisation ProAgria, the city of Lahti and malting company Viking Malt. We are currently on the lookout for new partners to expand the project.
The e-college for regenerative agriculture will go live 9.2.2021. You can already register for the course at www.uudistavaviljely.fi