BENEFIT

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission through the Erasmus Plus Program.

Brief

Project Full Title: Boosting Innovation in Education aNd REsearch oF Precision AgriculTure in Palestine
Status: Ongoing
Funding Amount: 790,845 Euro
Donor: EU
Start Date: 15/01/2020
Completion Date: 14/01/2023
Project Duration: 36 months

Short Description

“Precision agriculture”, also called “digital farming”, is an innovative concept in the countries of Middle East and especially in Palestine. This is not specifically about the technologies, but about the overall concept putting accent on understanding how the technologies can make the farming more accurate and controlled. The innovative character of the BENEFIT project serves not only the capacity-building aspect for Palestinian HEIs, but also addresses the challenges faced by the Palestine regarding ICT, technological developments, and creating a global education and research framework for innovation and development regarding the integration of newest (digital) technologies into agriculture and rural development. At last, but not least, cooperation between EU and Palestine HEIs contributes to the multicultural mating and collaborating.

Main Objectives

  1. Involving Palestinian HEI's in Research Movement related to Precision Agriculture in Europe;
  2. Encouraging both Palestinian researchers and academics to interests related to the concept, domains, tools and digital technology of the Precision Agriculture (e.g. a wide array of items such as GPS guidance, control systems, sensors, robotics, drones, autonomous vehicles, variable rate technology, GPS-based soil sampling, automated hardware, telematics, and software).
  3. Defining a qualitative profile and a state of the art curriculum in Precision Agriculture and elaborating reliable and valid assessment standards.
  4. Involving Palestinian farmers into the precision agriculture processes, enriching them not only with critical-reflective but also with creative skills .

Field Areas

Agriculture

Specific Objectives

  1. Training Palestinian academic staff and researchers in “precision agriculture” through an in-service process, providing them with the knowledge to use and re-use useful Open Educational Resources (OER) and enhancing their professional development both for their self-esteem and to meet market’s needs: “Expert in precision agriculture”. The profile will be aligned with the specific socio-political conditions and educational systems in Palestine. (BENEFIT Training).
  2. Developing a joint, contemporary, open and flexible curriculum in precision agriculture will entail the need to focus not only on competences related to technology/digital innovation in the agricultural sector, but, at the same time, to develop the capability of looking at the future, within a sustainable and optimistic view, to embracing new opportunities arising in the labor market. This will lead to the integration of a strong entrepreneurial dimension in the curriculum. (BENEFIT Curriculum)
  3. Developing a e-Repository with precision agriculture OER (BENEFIT Repository).
  4. Designing, piloting, and evaluating pilot and initial courses, focusing on the precision agriculture. These activities will be realized on the new or updated centers at the Palestinians’ universities, e.g. Al-Istiqlal Dates Palm Research Center (BENEFIT Research Centers).
  5. Establishing a hub for digital agriculture (BENEFIT Incubator). This hub will be located at the Al-Quds Open University and will provide the essential equipment and instruments needed for digital agriculture application. Specifically, the advantages of such site are:
    o A platform for practical courses both for students and staff in the national universities , and
    o A good beginning as demonstration site for business start-up in Palestine, especially for Date palm growers. (link outputs of teaching and research with market needs).
  6. Creating an international research network about precision agriculture. (BENEFIT Community of Practice).
  7. Develop an e-precision agriculture space, that will provide the BENEFIT stakeholders- and not only- with a multidimensional space (e.g. OER PA Repository, Communities of Practices, Research Initiatives, etc.) (BENEFIT e-SPACE).

Project Partners

  1. Al-Quds Open University - Applicant
  2. University of Ruse Angel Kanchev
  3. Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra
  4. University of Patras
  5. Institute of Technology and Business in České Budějovice
  6. Al-Istiqlal University
  7. Palestinian Technical University-Kadoorie
  8. An Najjah National university
  9. University College of Applied Sciences
  10. Hebron University
Ahmed GhorabBENEFIT