RECAP Seeks to Reduce Workload on Farmers, Public Authorities, and Agricultural Consultants
CLARITY - Open eGovernment Services
12Feb
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RECAP Seeks to Reduce Workload on Farmers, Public Authorities, and Agricultural Consultants

by   |   12 Feb, 2018

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has increasingly been adapted to better serve farming systems sustainability. In that frame, the EU formatted the Cross Compliance Scheme (CCS), a policy tool for integrating environmental requirements into the CAP. CCS is a mechanism that links direct payments to compliance by farmers with basic environmental standards.

A number of challenges have risen for the public administrations (PAs) in the process of implementing and controlling Cross Compliance Scheme, mainly because of the complexity and diversity of the obligations and conditions that need to be monitored. This results in high administrative costs, and the bureaucratic procedures for monitoring farmers’ compliance to standards are time consuming. On the other hand, farmers face particular difficulties in becoming familiar with the standards required for their farm, which might lead to non-compliance and subsequent penalisation of the farmer, who is meanwhile dealing with the high administrative costs of the proper compliance to these standards.

RECAP, an EC project, funded under the ICT-enabled open government (H2020-INSO-2015-CNECT) call (GA 693171), helps build bridges between public administrations and farmers by utilising innovative Earth Observation (EO) solutions and cost-efficient tools that improve simplification and modernization of the CAP.

RECAP is a commercial platform which includes manual and fully automatic hybrid EO techniques that are built upon existing large volumes of geo-information available to public organisations, integrating additionally open satellite data, and bi-directional user-generated data from farmers. By utilising these techniques, RECAP enables the effective remote monitoring of farmers’ obligations increasing the efficiency and transparency of public administration procedures when implementing the CAP. Furthermore, PAs have continuous access to more inspection and farm-related details within a secure and transparent framework, reducing the administrative costs and paving the way for more targeted and faster controls in future. RECAP also offers personalised services to farmers for their better compliance with the CCS and stimulates development of new added value services by agricultural consultants and developers who can create add-ons to the main platform and make use of the data collected.

As RECAP is a user-driven solution, its approach started by developing a rapid appraisal methodology for the identification of specific users’ objectives and needs; followed by evaluation, using both quantitative and qualitative techniques for higher reliability and integrity. From the project initiation, a series of interviews with representatives from PAs, agricultural consultants and farmers were performed in five countries (Greece, Spain, Lithuania, Serbia and UK) and this procedure helped identify variations in the interviewees’ responses with regards to users’ requirements. Direct engagement of various groups of end users in semi-structured interviews was also followed in the co-creation and co-production phases. All involved users’ needs were collated and used to guide RECAP platform development.

More information about RECAP can be found at: https://www.recap-h2020.eu/

 

Authors:

Ifigeneia Tsioutsa (RECAP Project Manager, DRAXIS Environmental S.A.)

Dimitrios Petalios (RECAP EU Communication & Dissemination Manager; CREVIS SPRL)

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