AGROLYMPICS in Portugal

Agrolympics Portugal, which was started last year, is included in an important agricultural fair called Agrosemana, and will be held again soon in the north of Portugal.

This is a national competition open to agricultural schools all over the country. The aim for students is to demonstrate their technical skills; however, the competition is also looking for fair play, fun and exchange of experiences between the participating teams.

The event is coordinated by APEPA (Associação Portuguesa de Escolas Profissionais Agrícola) and it is sponsored by Agros, the most important Portuguese cooperative in the milk sector, and it is also supported by Fertiprado, an important firm of forages and hay.

This year the competition will take place on the 1st and 2nd of September, and again it will be an amazing opportunity for all the participants. The winners will travel to Germany for the 2nd AGROLYMPICS to compete with their European colleagues (see Events).

We leave you some photos of last year’s competition to awaken your curiosity to follow this year results.

 

 

For more pics click HERE.

Acknowledgements: many thanks to Rita (PT) 🙂

 

 

ANNIE in Romania

News about the progress of ANNIE have reached us recently coming this time from EUROPEA school Colegiul Silvic Transilvania Năsăud, Romania. ANNIE is an ERASMUS+ project that promotes Aquaponics (integrated fish and plant production) as a sustainable agricultural practice. The Romanian ANNIE team has set up a complete Aquaponics system at the school campus and will use it in education in the future. Congrats Romania!

Details can be read  on the ANNIE dissemination leaflet:

Aquaponics is a circular system where aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (plant breeding in water) come together. The cycle starts with the feeding of the fish to produce ammonia rich waste, which accumulates in the water. The effluent-rich water is essential for plant growth.

So, the waste water is pumped to the grow beds. The bacteria that is cultured in the grow beds helps to break down impurities and as a result, nitrogen remains, which is an essential nutrient for plants. The plant roots filter the water which now contains nutrients for the fishes, and is pumped back down to the fishes.

Aquaponics is sustainable because the food is grown locally and not from far flown. And without the use of pesticides and antibiotics, so it is even healthier and fresher.

Aquaponics also supplies ten times more food per square meter, with a minimum of water consumption.  This makes it ideal for urban areas and dry, nutrient-poor countries.   Aquaponics can thus contribute to future food problems, the reduction of CO² emissions and 9/10 may reduce the use of precious drinking water for irrigation.”

For more information click HERE or read our previous articles on ANNIE.

Acknowledgements: many thanks to Gioconda 😊

AGROLYMPICS 2017

Several disciplines of the upcoming Agrolympics were tested by students of Fachschulzentrum Freiberg-Zug. The following disciplines were tested: Log splitting, Tractor driving, Handling potato/apple boxes, Balancing big bales, Fencing, Apple pressing, Changing points, Assembling a pipe-line, Hand milking and Fertilizer spreading.

The event was documented as a short promotional video for the competition.

Enjoy the video. (But please keep in mind that the machines which were used in video are not the same machines that will be used during the competition).

 

Gerd Alscher, NC EUROPEA

Green Your Skills!

Appraising transversal skills in green jobs for employability of youth and workers in restructuring processes

ACROSS is an ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships Project for VET started in 2015 that has the objective to reduce the gap between available skills and the ever-changing labour market demands. The project focuses primarily on sustainability and the appraising of transversal skills, which could successfully relieve high unemployment rates.

Project leader is Tandem Plus, FR and partners come from 8 European countries: Croatia, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and The Netherlands.

In only a few days, on 26th July 2017, ACROSS partners will held their Final Conference in Brussels, BE promoting the project results and trying to give answers to the questions that they dealt with:

“How can VET and labour market actors contribute to a sustainable, “green” economy driven by the need to better preserve and protect both the social-economic well-being of our societies and the natural resources of our planet?

How can they cater solutions to workers, students and companies and equip them with the necessary skills and capacities to undergo greening processes?” (From: Conference Invitation)

Interested? Register HERE, be there at the conference and get the answers for yourself 😊

 

Find out more about the project HERE or HERE. Pics: ACROSS and Tandem Plus Facebook sites. Thank you.

Albania – an undiscovered beauty

Crystal-clear water, long beaches, canyons in which geologists would rejoice, cultural highlights dating back more than 2500 years, local food which can compete with gourmet restaurants, uncountable olive trees, serene landscapes and lakes that ask for silence and contemplation, people who make you feel like a king in their home… you wonder, if you are really in Albania, a country quite unknown to most of us.

Albania – or Republika e Shqipërisë in the country language – covers an area of about 28,000 km² (roughly one third of Austria) and has appr. 3 Mio inhabitants. Surrounded by Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece it can also offer a coast line of roughly 300km.

As the Albanian Daily News stated in its July 7th edition, “agribusiness is a vital sector of Albania’s economy. It provides employment for around 50% of the population and accounts for around 20% of the country’s GDP”. It justifies the Albanian Agribusiness Support Facility, a financial instrument, which is supported by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, thus providing loans to accelerate investments and improvements in this sector.

While there are still a lot of remains from the Enver Hoxha regime, which lasted 40 years – e.g. the ever present bunkers, spread over the whole country, we can enjoy excavations in Butrint, admire the UNESCO cities Berat and Gjirokastër and encounter donkeys instead of trucks or trailers as a means of transportation.

Faleminderit & Mirupafshim!

Elisabeth Hönigsberger