Our rational for creating a series of focussed CSA hubs is that impactful change of practices and acquisition of new technologies often involves close collaboration between local policy makers, city officials, the community and farmers. These hubs therefore focus on specific local challenges and leverage specific local relationships and expertise. Over time, these local hubs will become self-funding.
Our French CSA hub focuses on innovation for resilience and sustainability in the wine sector, leveraging expertise from France’s top agricultural research institute INRA on an economically important sector for France. We are working with national and local government to advance a sustainable wine industry coordinating research, education and professional players from the South of France.
Our Italian regional HUB has been working from 2015 to facilitate the transition towards a resilient and low-impact agriculture, promoting the network and exchange of information between the different stakeholders along the supply chain – in particular research, farmers and farmer associations.. The Hub aspires to be the ideal place to promote business-to-business interaction between all those involved the topics of sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.
Our lead partner hosting the hub is Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche Istituto de Biometeorologia (CNR-IBIMET) focusing on bridging the gap between policy makers and farmers and leveraging IBIMET’s expertise in science-based policy and sustainable smart agriculture. Already around 50 stakeholders have been directly involved in the Hub as technology or knowledge providers and more than 200 farmers have made contributions to assess regional priorities for CSA innovation.
We are leading several initiatives driving climate-smart agriculture innovation in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. The first project on “Irrigation system optimization in fruit farming for adaptation to climate change” aims to promote the diffusion of techniques able to increase water use efficiency and define the most efficient time for irrigation during the day, so to maximize resources partitioning towards fruit organs. The project will also outline guidelines for the application of cooling irrigation to fruit orchards to fight against the frequently recurring summer heat waves. The other project admitted for founding, named “MountainGreen-Climate”, evaluates the impact of climate change and particulate pollutions on the nutritional value of mountain pastures for Parmigiano Reggiano production. The Hub has successfully established a permanent collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Regione Emilia Romagna to inventory and promote policy initiatives to support a regional change of step to climate smart agricultural management. Another exciting project is PhenoPiCam, an autonomous, low cost, solar-powered vineyard monitoring tool.
Our Dutch regional hub focuses on bridging the gap between innovation and farmers leveraging Wageningen University & Research’s (WUR) campus and expertise in farmer education and training. The regional hub serves networks of agricultural organizations, policy makers, advisors and researchers who are working on initiatives, pilots and new concepts. It focuses on individual farmers, agricultural specialisms (eg dairy, arable farming), and regional and value-chains support. It offers CSA Booster’s services on innovation, education and entrepreneurship and supports the identification, assessment, validation and implementation of climate friendly practices.
Partnering with Københavns Universitet (KU), our Nordic hub is building a cluster of local expertise to advance alternative proteins for food and animal feed. The Hub is an academic consortium of Nordic Universities and researchers highlighting the importance of academic-industry partnerships. Another specialist area for this hub is forestry and wood in construction.
We will also explore the potential and viability of a CEE CSA hub, working with the CKIC CEE team and GACSA (part of the FAO), who hope to expand their network in the CEE, central asia region.