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08 June 2021

Identifying and responding to the needs of the organic farming sector

Fredo CtRAb

An internal tool has been set up as part of the Strategic Plan for the Development of Organic Agriculture (PSDAB) in Wallonia by 2020: FREDO.

Among its various missions, two courses of action have been allocated to the Transversal Unit for Research in Organic Agriculture (CtRAb):

  • To identify the needs of producers and processors in the organic farming sector;
  • To establish an inventory of scientific work and projects concerning organic farming and the monitoring of them.

As a result, two separate databases were created in 2015, to compile the “demand” and “supply”. In view of their complementarity, it was soon found necessary to align the two in order to establish links between them. Just because an interested party identifies a need, it does not mean that it has not already been addressed or been the focus of experiments in Wallonia, Belgium or Europe.                                                                                                     

Cross-checking between supply and demand enables the identification of both Gap of Knowledge (GOk) and Gap of Research (GOR) expressed by the sector.

To facilitate access to little-known knowledge, a "knowledge base" dynamic has been initiated at CRA-W. This involves producing a summary on a specific topic, an informative summary for researchers that can be disseminated to those involved in management structure, who can then share it with their beneficiaries. These knowledge bases make it possible to bridge GOKs and to specify GORs, used to define questions concerned with research and to formulate research plans.

In order to provide a comparison between supply and demand, an internally developed tool makes it possible to:

  1. consult and encode needs,
  2. consult and encode research work;
  3. determine the correlation between "supply" and "demand".

This platform, currently named FREDO, which stands for Fichier REcapitulatif des Demandes et des Offres [summary file of supply and demand] for research and development in the organic farming sector, is dynamically driven. Prospects for development and external access to this tool are currently being considered, particularly with a view to taking part in the efforts of the PSDAB by 2030.

Have you identified a need or a question for research? The CtRAb encourages you to share information so that it can be incorporated into the tool.

Funding: BIO2020 programme

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