Information and local economy

Romania’s small-scale farmers need information and technical assistance to achieve an integrated use of all the Rural Development Programme measures available to them. There are over 3 million subsistence and semi-subsistence farmers in Romania. They have very low capacity to gain access to Rural Development Programme measures.

Fundatia ADEPT has been working to solve these problems by forming information groups for farmers, packing information in usable forms, and training in implementation. This strongly involves raising the capacity and increasing the role of existing farmers associations, and cooperation with the Romanian National Rural Development Network.

The project initially targeted the 5,000 farming families in the Tarnava Mare area and now the project is expanding its communication activities to national level.

It demonstrated that farmers will actively work together in associations and cooperative actions when there is business advantage in membership. It improved the capacity of farmer associations so that they could act as channels of information, thus raising farmers’ capacity for joint actions and price negotiation.

ADEPT has identified various urgent needs:

  • improved access to information, including through internet skills for key individuals (such as farmer associations);
  • coordinated delivery of information on eligibility for funding schemes;
  • improved capacity to implement projects after approval.

ADEPT's response

Information appropriately structured and delivered to farmers and through associations include:

  • guides for building milk collection and food processing plants offering minimum conditions for authorisation, with plans freely available in hard copy or internet for use by any community group in Romania
  • training of farmer associations in general management
  • improved milk hygiene and milk price negotiation with processors
  • farm cross visits and meetings to help farmers gain access to measures
  • materials to help farmers meet implementation conditions, such as Farmers Diary and Farm Record Sheets
  • information networks for farmers markets; training small farmer associations to deliver joint actions
  • use of mobile telephone SMS to inform farmers of key information.

SMSFF (SMS Family Farms, or SMS Ferme Familiale), is free of charge, and is primarily aimed at helping small-scale farmers to have full-time access to announcements of funding opportunities, application deadlines, market opportunities, etc., even when they do not have regular access to the internet. This applies especially to  isolated farms and villages, and shepherds who are away from home. For further details and to register for the service. For benefiting of this service, please fill in the registration form below.

Smart phone app to encourage responsible tourism Fundaţia ADEPT Transilvania’s project: "Discover Târnava Mare" is a touristic mini guide through which you can visit and plan, overall, a walk through Târnava Mare, Transylvania.

The impact of the project

  • a 7-fold increase in uptake of agri-environment schemes - Euro1.7 m extra income/year in for about 2,000 farmers
  • improved milk quality and capacity to negotiate with milk processors doubling milk price - over €150.000/year extra income for over 200 farmers
  • better presented, managed and advertised farmers markets - over €110,000 extra income in 2011 for 40 producers
  • a village association has created a group agri-environment scheme and is using funds received for community projects - €220.000 / year for 39 association members
  • villages in two other areas have replicated the ‘s minimum-conditions ’s food processing unit based on our project design.

Thus, with an investment of €700,000, the project has yielded increased local incomes of over €2m per year in the Tarnava Mare area, having a great impact on local prosperity as this is local money, circulating in the local economy.

This project has increased the uptake, and effective integrated use, of Rural Development programme. Fundatia ADEPT is cooperating closely with the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and has been consulted at EU level on the design of the Rural Development Programme post-2013, advising on the current and future Rural Development Programme based on practical experiences: and has even had an influence on the design of the Cooperation Measure in the legislative proposals for the EAFRD post 2013, with a view to promoting replication of the action across the EU and is a pioneer in designing new payment schemes based on results (see more about RBABS Project).

It has demonstrated that the RDP offers the necessary tools to farmers and rural communities, and that the key problem is the effective communication of these tools at national level – and that innovative and integrated communication actions are extremely cost-effective in terms of cost of the actions against their economic impact on farmers and rural communities. The project has used innovative communication to integrate horizontally (information delivery to farmers) and vertically (linking local implementation to national and EU policy-making).

A free information service for Romanian farmers.
You will regularly receive SMS messages on your mobile phones, suited to your needs.

Many of you don’t have the necessary time to access information and news on-line, on a regular basis. We have responded to this problem by establishing a unique and FREE SMS service: SMS Family Farms (SMSFF).

In order to benefit from this service, you just need to submit the registration form by clicking the button on the right.

Based on the information you provide and your activity profile, we will send you relevant news and events on a regular basis, legislative changes, national and international fairs, seminars, courses, subsidy payments, reminders of new funding opportunities and deadlines of funding application etc.

Because smaller family farms in Romania are of great national economic importance, we are supporting you when you need it. The Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) values your activities and is designed to support you to continue. But to get advantages from the CAP, you need the right information at the right time and in real time.

1st Place at Brussels in
Innovative Communication of
Best CAP Communication Awards
2013 - Telling the Story.

This project is supported by the Swiss-Romanian Development Fund.

The information you provide will be respected and used only for the SMSFF: it will not be used for advertising, or for official controls.

Related Publications

Milk Hygiene Training

This simple guide is helping thousands of farmers across Romania achieve higher milk quality, and higher milk prices, by improved management practices many of which require no investment of money.

Farmers From Subsistence to Profit

Also called How to live better from my farm, this handbook brings together many strands of information including generic design of farm-level or comminity-level micro-processing units, to help small scale farmers obtain a better income for themselves and their families.

Farmers Calendar

This calendar, to go on the farmers wall, summarises key dates for farm activities and application deadlines.

Farmers Register

This farm register, designed by ADEPT in cooperation with the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, helps farmers keep the necessary records so that they are not penalised when inspected. Obviously vital for farm viability.

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