PONICS VET: Hydroponics Agricultural Technician is an ERASMUS+ ECVET project, focusing mainly on young growers and would-be farmers. This project will provide online training for an emerging industry that is in need of talent – and offers existing farmers a new, efficient, soil-independent method of growing plant products in both small and large-scale operations. In the field of high-efficiency, technology-driven growing systems, the shortage of talent is a widely recognized challenge that presents a serious problem for market development and scalability. FTS is committed to addressing this chronic shortage of talent and therefore benefit this emerging industry.
The aim of the PONICS VET project is to create and deliver comprehensive training for the innovative profession of hydroponics technicians. Alongside educational content, the course will offer formal certification compliant with the ECVET (the European credit system for VET) methodology. This will allow trainees’ certifications to be recognized within all institutions that are part of the ECVET system.
This project is looking for public/private partners to evolve beyond the rollout of the free online class in the EU member states listed below as well as in English. FTS is seeking additional interested stakeholders who can see synergies between PONICS VET and their own online-training programs, who are seeking to launch similar initiatives right now, or who are looking for an established credential system like the ECVET credit system used in Erasmus+ programs. ECVET and Erasmus+ have the potential to overcome the current bottleneck in qualified talent for hydroponics.
List of current project partners:
- Latvia University of Lifesciences and Technology (Lativia), represented by Ainis Lagzdiņš
- Eurocrea Merchant Srl (Italia), represented by Antonella Tozzi
- IDEC (Greece), represented by Vana Fikari
- BIC Innobridge (Bulgaria), represented by Nicolay Tsolev
- FarmTech Society ASBL (Belgium), represented by Tom Zoellner
- zemniekusaeima (Lativa), represented by Zanda Melnalksne.
Source: FarmTech Society (Tom Zöllner)