Advancing sustainable agriculture in Ukraine – 360° farm evaluation and participatory strategy development

April 4-9, 2017

Delegation consisting of following persons:

Kalachevska L. I., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Head of International Cooperation Department;

Kovalenko I. M., Dr. Sc, Associate Professor, Dean of Agrotechnologies and Environmental Use Department;

Volchenko N.V., Ph.D, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of Management of Foreign Economic Activity and Eurointegration Chair;

Koblianska I.I., Ph.D, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of Economics Chair;

Ilchenko V.O., PhD, Senior Lecturer of Crop Production Chair;

was staying at Bern University of Applied Sciences within the period 4-9 April for the purpose of an internship to study the application of software RISE 3.0 for evaluation of the socio-ecological and economic sustainability of agricultural enterprises in Ukraine. Four-day training is a part of the "Advancing sustainable agriculture in Ukraine – 360° farm evaluation and participatory strategy development" project which is implemented by SNAU jointly with Bern University of Applied Sciences with the support of Swiss Agency for Development in Ukraine and "Nestle Ukraine" and aims to promote sustainable agriculture development in Ukraine.

Within the internship framework the following issues were studied:

- content and main categories of the concept of sustainable development of agriculture;

- the main goal, basic components and principles of RISE 3.0 software;

- methodological principles and indicators of RISE 3.0;

- the bases of the program authoring and RISE 3.0 interface;

- questionnaire construction for the RISE evaluation;

- preparing for interviews and survey features;

- conducting interviews, analysis and feedback;

- off-line and on-line use of RISE 3.0.

On the practical trainings the database of test farms was formed and evaluated. During this problems in the process of database scheduling as well as RISE-indicators and results interpretations were defined. The features of the empirical identification of indicators and regional database in accordance with the structure and types of farms in a region were discussed with partners from the University of Bern.

As a part of the visit, the steps and procedures of the implementation of the project were discussed also. Particularly, it was reached the agreement about the need to identify and to coordinate the selection criteria for the formation of a representative database of Ukrainian companies participating in the project for the implementation of RISE, with Nestle partners. The basic requirements for the selection of participants (i.e. consultants) for the Sumy RISE-workshop were identified. It was concluded the need to adapt the RISE 3.0 software to the needs of regions where the assessment will be conducted according to the project agreements. Difficulties concerning the translation of teaching materials and software codes were resolved.

Besides, there was discussed the development of the concept, structure and content of the educational online RISE course based on MOODLE platform. In this context it was stressed the need to include the block of theoretical knowledge on the concept of sustainable development in the form of an introductory lecture preceding the study of RISE 3.0.

The meeting also identified areas for further cooperation and prospects for the project development, including software adaptation due to the extension of RISE 3.0 in other regions of Ukraine, development of educational course based on the concept of MOOC etc.