What support for Flemish farmers? - Some ideas from neighbouring countries

Dirk Bergen & Dirk Van Gijseghem

July 2010

Better training and guidance of farmers is considered a must for the future. Farmers will or may be faced with larger companies, increasing technicality, new knowledge needs, need for other structures and financing, various forms of cooperation and an increasing need for entrepreneurial and managerial skills. Larger companies mean greater demands in terms of planning, a freer market requires more market orientation. But this will require much more than just new skills. It is expected that the speed with which an agricultural operation can adjust in the future will also be an important factor and that this will become increasingly important (as a result of climate change, increased sustainability, economic and technical developments, etc).

In this study the emphasis was on guidance or advice. The viewpoint is that of the active farmer who wishes to (further) enhance his qualifications and therefore must choose from the available tools and opportunities, in terms of technical knowledge and of entrepreneurship.

The study starts from an overview of guidance facilities available in Flanders. Without analysing the available guidance facilities in detail the overview gives rise to a series of interesting observations and conclusions. This constituted a useful backdrop for interviews that were conducted with experts who are responsible for providing guidance/advice from some of our neighbouring countries, i.e., the Netherlands, France and North Rhine-Westphalia. The aim of this study, after all, was to glean ideas from a number of neighbouring countries, which may hold promise for Flemish farmers. Such trains of thought should be taken into consideration to optimise the Flemish offer in terms of guidance and to prepare for the future in the best possible manner.

Original version:

Bergen D. & Van Gijseghem D. (2010)
Welke begeleiding voor de Vlaamse landbouwers? – Enkele ideeën uit de buurlanden
Departement Landbouw en Visserij, Brussel.

Departement Landbouw en Visserij
Ellipsgebouw (6de verdieping) - Koning Albert II-Laan 35, bus 40 - 1030 Brussel
Tel. 02 552 78 20 - Fax 02 552 78 21
E-mail: kennis@lv.vlaanderen.be