BalkanROAD is organized in six Work Packages:
WP1: Project Management and Coordination
Partners will take care of coordination and management, development of quality monitoring and risk management plans.
WP2: Project Communication and Dissemination
During WP2 the consortium will develop the awareness raising, communication and dissemination strategies of the project. A series of communication and dissemination activities will take place in all five participating countries.
WP3: knowledge and GAP analysis
During this WP all partners will collect data from their countries to develop an information/data baseline for the development of all other WPs. These are: (1) an analysis of gaps for alternative/innovative practices adoption level by farmers and policy makers in the five countries, (2) a Life Cycle Analysis of all stages of the products’ life (from cradle to grave) at the three pilot areas to assess environmental impacts and alternative practices/processes that can improve them according to project’s priorities, and (3) a web GIS-based platform of the pilot areas
WP4: Design and realization of “prototype Balkan farms”
The activities of this WP will realize the “Prototype Balkan agricultural enterprise” and develop production processes than can be generalized and implemented in the entire Balkan agri-sector. Based on the LCA of WP3, the most sustainable and profitable alternative processes for cultivation, harvesting, packaging, production line, reduction of GHGs emission, logistics etc. will be implemented. Chemical analyses of soil, water, wastes, manures, composts, raw materials and final marketable products will be performed to design fertilization and irrigation strategies, define products quality, design waste prevention and water/nutrients/energy saving plans and to estimate gain and loss of nutrients, water, energy, GHGs and farmers’ income. Each step of the production line of the 3 pilot farms will be monitored and re-designed by integrating technologies and practices to achieve reduction, up to the necessary levels, of nutrients and water input, waste reduction and reuse/recycling of by-products/wastes into the farm system. An innovative web-based application tool will be developed and integrated into the web platform of WP3, so that the production process can be monitored, i.e., estimate waste generation, carbon/waste/water footprint of the products, identify points of the production line that may be further improved and finally to provide consultancy on safe reuse of wastes on agricultural land. Therefore, through this absolutely monitored process, the marketable farm products could be provided with an eco-label with their water, carbon and waste footprint. Finally, a Common Balkan Protocol of processes that ensure the lowest possible environmental footprint of the marketable products will be developed based on the outputs of this WP and through an extensive dialogue and cooperation between the partners.
WP5: Working with stakeholders in Balkan region
This WP is dedicated to stakeholders. Three meetings between them and the partners will take place in Greece, North Macedonia and Bulgaria during which, the participants will discuss and develop the final Common Balkan Roadmap. Stakeholders will have the possibility to critically assess available information and suggest improvements of data and processes implemented or proposed.
The project includes a core group of stakeholders, who will adopt its outputs during and after project completion and will act as multipliers to enhance their durability in the future. These are:
• Greece: Regional Authority of Central Macedonia, Regional Authority of Sterea Ellada etc.
• North Macedonia: Municipality of Kavadarci, Agriculture and forestry educational center Gjorce Petrov, Biovita Kavadarci (NGO Regional organic producers association) etc.
• Albania: Divjaka Municipality, Institute of Biological Agriculture (NGO working on organic agriculture), etc.
• Bulgaria: Municipality of Kyustendil, ET Bulgarplod-Kyustendil-G. Razsipiyski (farmers association), Institute of Agricultural Economics, etc.
• Cyprus: Office of the Commissioner for the Environment, Sotira Municipality, Institute of Environmental Technology & Sustainable development etc.
WP6: Roadmap for sustainable Balkan farm systems
All previous WPs will be integrated into WP6 during which, the Roadmap will be developed and communicated.The aim is to synthesize project results and decisions taken during the stakeholders meetings into a Roadmap as a way to improve Balkan agricultural sector by a sustainable and economically viable way.The Roadmap will provide all appropriate and required scientific,technical, administrative and financial information to assist farmers and stakeholders to adopt project’s achievements at farm-, local-, regional- or even national level. European and national legislative restrictions and preconditions will be provided, as well.