On the 11th and 12th of December 2023, the VETfarm Kick-Off Meeting took place at the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) and Under Sun LLC (UNDER SUN) in Yerevan, Armenia.

This meeting marked the official start of the project and brought all the participating organisations together, initiate project startup activities and conduct a thorough review of the VETfarm project proposal. Subsequently, formulate an operational plan for effective communication with project partners. The participants also discussed the significance of digitalization in the pista sector and highlighted the potential impact of the project on transforming farming practices in Armenia.

The meeting had six sessions, which included university and lab tours, field/farm visits, two group photos, and over 30 participants from participating organizations, delegates, and guests. Among the guests was Ms. Lana Karlova, Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ office in Armenia. In addition to the sessions, participants also visited the Water and Land Resources Center, ANAU Center for Precision Agriculture and Drone Lab, and the Farm/Soil Lab at Under Sun company.

The focus of the meetings was on updating the project management structure and the establishment of the steering committee, financial management, presentation and coordination of Work Packages (WPs), expected deliverables and millstones, communication, and dissemination of project activities.

During the KOM, the Steering Committee (SC) of the project was discussed to ensure adequate and fair participation of all partners in project management. The established SC structure includes one representative from each consortium partner. Decisions made by the SC hold the highest authority within the consortium. The SC will serve as the primary board responsible for deciding on all technical and academic matters related to the project.

Networking activities, such as project promotion and presentations and website, were also discussed.

The proposed courses were thoroughly discussed, with a focus on the management model of the pista growers based on requirements for Information:

  • To co-design the courses in alignment with the specific needs of the local partners,
  • To use Earth Observation (EO) and Geoinformation technologies for the assessment

of status and changes in pista trees cover and landscapes.

  • To use Geospatial knowledge infrastructure,
  • To build/integrate knowledge and skills.
  • To adapt the courses to local conditions and integrate expert knowledge,

particularly through the use of case studies.

  • To diversify the training delivery methods to include In-Person, virtual, and hybrid

training sessions that can be conducted both physically and remotely.

  • To ensure open access,
  • To translate the courses into Armenian.