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Second workshop of the Irish RAIN

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  • Última modificación de la entrada:22/05/2024

The second workshop of the Irish RAIN was held on 30th January 2024, organized by the Teagasc team, led by John Casey and Tom Houlihan, ar the Teagasc office facilities in Clonminch, Tullamore.

The RAIN meeting was well attended and participants were generous in terms of their discussion and insight in terms of the range of items on the agenda. In relation to feedback on the platform and user interaction, there was consensus that it was relatively easy to navigate, with very little dissenting views. Valuable insights were gleaned in terms of disseminating materials, which can feed into the overall range of views within the project. The establishment of demonstration farms and use of agroforestry awareness campaigns stood out as beneficial for both farmers and land use advisors. Access to information via short videos and fact sheets was a popular choice as was a focus on peer-to-peer learning.

Infographics and factsheets were considered to be the best introduction to specific content areas while easily read abstracts on the climate resilience elements were seen as useful for examining the advantages of agroforestry. The potential of MOOC is an area to be leveraged, particularly in terms of informing the nuances around agroforestry business models development. The Irish RAIN participants expressed content with their initial advisory training priorities, while information on management options & techniques and economic data were viewed as key technical skill deliverables for an agroforestry extension service. This should be a focus area for future project and partner engagement and information sharing within the project.

In terms of the selection of candidate farms to showcase business models, there was general agreement that the 3 farms chosen were representative of the agroforestry systems currently being practiced in Ireland. While the Allshires Farm was considered most appropriate for Group 3, the RAIN participants recommended that a fourth farm also be included due to its range of alternative non-timber products.
While agroforestry systems and their attendant value chains are at an early stage of development in Ireland, their future direction can be supported through knowledge gleaned across the RAINs and the AF4EUproject insights. Work on incorporating end-users more closely into the Irish RAIN is needed and will continue as part of the drive to build capacity within the Irish agroforestry sector.