News

Sharing knowledge and innovation to tackle climate change

Published: 05 Jan 2022 09:40

Projects awarded funding in most recent round of Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund.

Projects aiding emissions reduction and tackling climate change in agriculture and food production have been selected as part of the last round of the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF).

The chosen projects have a specific focus on resource efficiency, cutting emissions, environmental performance and sustainability of agricultural holdings, and are supported by just over £170,000 of funding through the KTIF.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“In the run up to COP26, the whole world was thinking about what needs to be done in order to combat climate change and what we need to do going forward.

“It is clear that we all need to work together to reach our climate goals. I’m looking forward to seeing how the successful projects will help us do that. That’s why investing and supporting knowledge transfer and innovation within our agricultural sector has never been more important.”

Background

The Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund is delivered through the Scottish Government’s rural budget. The scheme funds knowledge transfer and innovation based projects aligned to EU rural priorities, including, promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift toward a low-carbon and climate resilient economy in the agriculture, food and forestry sectors.

Newly approved projects

1. Agroforestry in Action 2  – Facilitated by Soil Association (Scotland) - £18,862.50

The aim of the project is to build on their 2021 ‘Agroforestry in Action’ (AIA) programme’s success, leveraging the knowledge acquired to continue increasing awareness and providing farmers, crofters and land managers with resources and information on the opportunities for agroforestry in Scotland, and its benefits for productive and sustainable farming, resource efficient land management, the environment, nature and a safe climate.

2. Soil Health – A Route Towards Net Zero for the Scottish Livestock Industry – Facilitated by Farm Stock (Scotland) Ltd - £69,878

The aim of the project is to help the Scottish agricultural industry meet the Scottish Government’s targets by becoming more efficient – specifically, through better management of soil health.

3. Farmers in the Field Video Case Studies – Facilitated by Forth Resource Management - £4,374

The aim of the project is to create a case studio video series comprised of three videos aimed at underlining the agricultural industries role in the move towards a low carbon future. They also aim to share knowledge and learnings on food and energy production to the benefit of the environment to the wider agriculture industry.

4. Agroecology - Facilitating Mindset Change – Facilitated by Nourish Scotland - £43,575

The aim of the project is to brings together six non-government organisations - 3 fully farmer-led and 3 whose membership includes farmers - to facilitate knowledge transfer and exchange between farmers who have started to adopt agroecological approaches and practices and those who are yet to be convinced.

This project aims to widen understanding of agroecology specifically through a farmer to farmer/ crofter to crofter cooperative learning programme.

The project will aim to achieve this with groups of 8-10 farmers which are diverse in terms of enterprises and geography across Scotland, with the learning shared across groups and  with industry bodies, through the organisations' members and more widely through the 6 organisations' communications channels.

5. Carbon Trotterprints – Facilitated by Wholesome Pigs (Scotland) - £35,100

The aim of the project is to build on the success on the use of benchmarking within the Scottish pig industry to deliver the improved measurement tools, to minimise the work involved on farm to complete carbon audits and thereby reduce any future financial support requirement.

At least three different pig farm carbon calculators will be interrogated to provide the project team with an understanding of the specific data input requirements for each calculator. The experience of farms that have undertaken a carbon audit within the last 12 months will also be drawn upon.

They hope to achieve this by carrying out visits to 15 farms to source the data. 15 carbon footprints will then be produced using the database to test the system, covering a cross-section of unit size, geography and production system. The trial farms will get an individual report advising on priority actions to rapidly reduce their own emissions.

A national benchmarking report will be generated by running all the data through a single carbon calculator, letting farmers see how they are performing against their peers. It will also enable analysis of how different farm types or size affects emissions.