OPENING speach SEASN president

Dear organisers, dear participants, dear members of all advisory service networks, participants from different EU and national institutions, dear guests,

I am very honour to be today with you and to have the opportunity to address you and to get new insights for our work in advisory service. 62nd IALB conference shows the importance of the advisory service thru the history and importance of this event for solving the new challenges in front of us.

SEASN network participates on these events last 9 years. Moreover, I can say that these 9 years was very important and successful for us.

The main topic and massage of this year conference is the role of education and extension in the transformation process of agriculture - in the context of climate change, nutrition ensurement and societal demands. We do not talk about the fashion, we talk about the reality and about the consequences for farming, for the environment, for food safety. Education and knowledge transfer in rural area play the main role. In SEASN region it is necessary to combine the agriculture with add activities related to ensure add value on the farm. For SEASN this is extremely important because of lot of reasons: small and less competitive agricultural holdings, traditional type of agriculture, less developed advisory services, SEASN members from EU and non-EU countries (mostly they are in pre-accession period), less developed AKIS system and advisory methods, tools etc. Because of those reasons in SEASN expect, that specific of agriculture will be taken into account on different levels. We also would like to have more support for trainings advisors for using methods and tools in advisory work, together with implementing AKIS as a system for knowledge transfer.

Our duty and obligation is to offer the young people the interesting and innovative approaches to became the young rural advisors; in field of trainings for tools they will use, trainings for expert topics, enabling connections  (internal like AKIS is and external like AS networks are) and events like this year conference is. The young advisors are and will be the holders of future agriculture and also the holders of roles we are talking about today.

The Horizon projects as Fairshare and i2Connect helped us to involve in daily advisory work the digital tools and platforms and innovative approaches, thanks to EU, which addressed that importance through these two projects and through the Horizon Europe proposals, for establishing advisory service networks, also.

In past years, Germany was as an EU member state, the holder of member states, which put in front of their creation agriculture politics the role of climate, the role of environment and the role of developing the sustainable type of living in the rural areas through rural development measures/interventions. I believe that in next days we will have opportunity to see how this is upgraded with using the modern approaches in general.

Mentioning all this in the explanation of this year conference, we have to consider and have an action plan for the future role of advisory service in rural areas. And we can be optimistic.

In the name of all SEASN members, I wish you a good and successful conference, adopted conclusions, which will be heard and used by European and national policy makers too.

Thank you very much,

Igor Hrovatič
SEASN president