Agriculture is an important sector for the national economy and social stability. The agri-food sector is facing problems with production, establishing marketing and distribution chains, meeting EU quality, veterinary standards, and building the administrative capacity to support these processes. To meet some of these problems (production, building the administrative capacity) is a challenge. Farm animal breeding and dairy products operate in a competitive global market and small differences even in knowledge implementation can bring many changes. As a result, small-medium sized farms might not survive the competitive pressure without innovative technologies. It will require considerable efforts from breeders, dairy' producers, researchers, funding bodies or/and legislative improve the products quality and quantity.
In Greece, dairy sheep (8 millions) and goats (5.5 millions) are considered as the most significant livestock sector with a long continuity of the ancient tradition. Sheep and goats (local native breeds) are kept mainly extensively in less favored areas, in rather small sized flocks, and produce milk which is transformed mainly into cheeses e.g. feta cheese with special aroma, taste and flavor. This farming system is of great significance from an economic, cultural and environmental point of view. In Ionian islands although the number of livestock is big there is an absent of cheese processing units resulting in reduced production of local products.
In Italy, the small ruminant consistency is about 7 millions sheep and 1 millions goats. In particular, there are about 300.000 sheep and 60.000 goats in Puglia Region. Agriculture plays a very important role in Puglia' economy, even though some areas have also developed other important sectors like tourism, industry and handicraft. The goat farming and shepherds is popular producing typical cheese e g. “cacioricotta”, “Fallone di Gravina,, made with a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk.
MobiLab is a project that resulted from the need a) to guarantee the conservation and development of sheep and goat sector in Italy and Greece, b) to converse the disadvantaged areas in areas with comparative advantages, c) to establish sustainable and competitive breeding in sheep and goat farming and d) to enhance the cheeses production and to ensure the safety and high quality of them.
The target group includes:
- Farmers that can be approached and be benefited from the results of the project
- Dairy producers
- Scientists/staff/practicians in the field of farming and diary production
- Policy makers
The aim is to develop an integrated network to transfer innovation driven research and technology to enhance dairy products and their production systems to stakeholders of dairy food chain.
The overall objective is to standardize the Ionian and Puglian dairy products in order to support the designation of origin, the lifelong education of the people interested, the collaborations / partnerships with local producers raisers and businessmen implementing new methods and using innovative products as well as the establishment of two Mobile Laboratories (each in one region).
MobiLab will enhance the high quality and safety of dairy products, with the specific objectives of:
To work with the entire dairy chain at the same time, from the producers to the consumers
- Develop researches on dairy products and their sustainable production systems to support farmers so as to be able to characterize the products, demonstrate their food safety, certified their quality and labeled as special products.
- Introduce innovation technology in farming and cheeses processing valuing the territorial bio-diversity resources and sustainable agriculture without lose the products specificity and to ensure the healthiness of the final product.
- Develop farmers’ technical assistance in order to improve their productivity and profitability and to disseminate the project results between them.
- Offer to the policy makers the knowledge to apply in new integrated development model , those of the products certification through Mobile Laboratories
- Develop researches and offer veterinary services in the field of commonest infectious diseases of sheep and goats in order to improve the wellbeing and productivity of animals.
The main outputs are the: a)establishment of 2 Mobile Laboratories for the safety, quality control of dairy products & as a result the strengthening of the economic activities; b)transnational collaboration like "triple helix"(farms, public sector & research academic centers) & through this the enhancement of the agricultural policy at both countries; c)exchange & transfer of knowledge and technology to enhance the competitiveness of the small-medium scale farms and through them the strengthening of the economic activities; d)production of safe & high quality products as a result of the improvement of the technological & organizational potential; e)standardization of the Ionian and Puglian dairy products in order to support the designation of origin; f)the lifelong education of the people interested; g)enhancement of farmers especially women & young people to create conditions for new qualified jobs as opportunities for their family farm, with the final aim to reduce the risk of rural exodus & to maintain an adequate rural/urban balance & thus; h)support the sustainable agriculture& the appropriate use of environmental resources; i)introduction of innovation on marketing strategy for traditional sustainable products; j)support of stakeholders of dairy food chain to improve their activities and their communication/networking; k)information of policy makers on products quality & safety & to involve them on the communication/networking with all stakeholders taking into account their needs in their future strategic plans.
The particular goal of MobiLab is the exploration of possibilities for more competitive farms through entrepreneurial learning and knowledge transfer based on the development/establishment of innovative tools (Mobile Laboratories). The establishment of these tools meets the need for economically alternatives in rural development with the need to produce high quality and safe dairy products. The establishment of a network of scientists, users, beneficiaries and policy makers will strengthen the effectiveness of regional/national policies and good agricultural practices based on the harmonization of the European veterinary and dairy requirements will be adopted and disseminated.
The improvement of animal husbandry with high milk production and the production of dairy products have as a result new more competitive systems of farm management.
The proposed project intents to:
- Enhance the agricultural policy at regional and national level through the development of innovative tools in livestock/dairy industry
- Strengthen the economic activities though the modernization of livestock at regional and national level
- Improve the technological and organizational potential so as to guarantee the better competitiveness and effectiveness in the management of livestock and their land-areas at regional level
- Produce goods with added value.
- Work package 1, Project management.
- Work Package 2, Project Information and Publicity.
- Work package 3, Farming screening/Innovative research implementation.
- Work Package 4, Establishment of the Mobile Laboratories.
- Work Package 5, Entrepreneurship support and capacity.
- Work Package 6, Transportation
|Starting – Ending
|16/4/2018 - 15/4/2020
|Veterinary Research Institute Budget
|Ionian Islands Region Budget
|University of Bari Budget
|Metropolitan City of Bari Budget
|Dr. Loukia Ekateriniadou
Dr. Loukia Ekateriniadou, Dr. Ilias Bouzalas, Dr. Georgios Samouris,
Dr. Evridiki Boukouvala, Dr. Smaragda Sotiraki, ass. Prof. Athanasios Gelasakis,
Dr. Evdoxios Psomas, Dr.Ioannis Sakaridis