Naturland Academy goes online

February 08, 2024

International e-learning platform launched - presentation at BIOFACH

From climate change to the extinction of species: Agriculture is facing various, major challenges at a global level. With the Naturland Academy, the largest international organic association is therefore now launching a web-based education campaign to support farmers worldwide in the necessary ecological transformation.

"With the Naturland Academy, we want to fulfil our responsibility as an international producer association and make a contribution to advancing organic farming worldwide," emphasises Marco Schlüter, Head of Strategy & International Affairs at Naturland. In addition to knowledge transfer in the form of online courses and events, Naturland also places particular emphasis on learning from and with each other. "We want to support organic farmers in networking, exchanging ideas and thus benefiting from each other's knowledge," emphasises Schlüter.

E-learning platform as the centrepiece - field excursions as an analogue extension

The centrepiece of the Naturland Academy is the e-learning platform Home | Naturland Academy . It offers various formats for guided or independent learning. For example, users will find a range of target group-orientated content, from learning videos and in-depth seminars to complex multi-part courses on specific specialist topics. The offer is supplemented by an extensive library with further videos and specialised manuals to browse through.

However, the Naturland Academy is not limited to digital learning programmes. Rather, these are often supplemented by on-site practical workshops, especially for more complex courses. Such field trips, for which participants can register via the platform, extend the e-learning to "blended learning".

A broad range of topics for various target groups

The range of topics is broad and extends from specific questions of pest management in individual crops to the explanation of basic cultivation systems such as coffee production in agroforestry. One focus is on strengthening resilience to the consequences of climate change, be it through the development of sustainable water management or the climate-adapted production of compost to maintain soil fertility. The programme also offers basic knowledge on ecological standards and principles, certification and internal control systems in smallholder cooperatives.

Besides the farmers themselves, trainers and multipliers are important target groups. With the help of the "Training of Trainers" (ToT) model, new and less experienced trainers are coached by master trainers, thus multiplying the transfer of knowledge.

There are also plans to set up online forums moderated by experts for farmers on the platform. These peer-to-peer forums can have a regional focus, i.e. bring organic farmers from a specific country together to exchange ideas, or focus on specific crops such as banana cultivation. In any case, the aim is to strengthen farmers through community building and mutual, experience-based learning.

Panel discussion at the Biofach

The Naturland Academy celebrates its launch with a panel discussion in the congress programme of Biofach, the world's leading trade fair for organic food, in Nuremberg. Under the heading "Training in the organic sector: strong skills for a strong future", experts from various international organisations will report on their experiences and the challenges that arise when exchanging knowledge with (small) farmers around the world.

WHEN: Thursday, 15 February, 16:45 to 17:30

WHERE: Biofach, NCC East, Room Shanghai

WHO: Experts from Naturland, IFOAM International, Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (FiBL) and Access Agriculture

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