On Friday, December 20, 2013, Stéphane LE FOLL, Minister of Agriculture, Food Processing and Forestry, and Jacques Lemaitre, president of Acta, the network of institutes in the plant and animal production sectors, signed the contract of objectives linking the State and the network of agricultural technical institutes in programmes for agricultural and rural development for the period 2014 to 2020.
The contract of objectives, which is in line with France’s major agroecological project, is designed to allow technical institutes to strengthen their methodologies, skills, tools and openness to research programmes conducted in partnership at the European level.
It provides the framework from which agricultural technical institutes brought together within Acta will develop and conduct their action programmes for the period 2014-2020.
This contract sets out seven major actions, which define the vocation of the agricultural technical institutes:
- Action 1 - Understanding the dynamics of actors and stakeholders: identifying their systems, practices and expectations - identifying innovation
- Action 2 - Conducting monitoring, literature reviews, socio-economic, environmental and prospective analysis
- Action 3 - Contributing to the double performance of agricultural production systems through factorial or analytical approaches to quantify causal relationships
- Action 4 - Contributing to the double performance via systems approaches to agricultural production over different scales of time and space
- Action 5 - Data analysis and the development of references and models and their incorporation into information systems
- Action 6 - Promoting and transferring the tools and references produced
- Action 7 - Evaluating the measures implemented and their impact
Finally, the contract of objectives sets out renewed and strengthened facilitation methods for Acta at the head of the network.
Christian Huyghe, Research Director at INRA and Chairman of Acta’s STAB
"The contract of objectives is fully in-line with the process being driven by MAAF to clearly register agroecology as the new paradigm for the development of multi-performance agriculture. It reflects a great ambition for agricultural technical institutes and stresses the importance of the role of Acta in steering the actions of the ATIs through the next seven years.
The Scientific and Technical Advisory Board (STAB) intends to encourage with rigour and exactitude the implementation of applied research contributing to agriculture which is productive, economically sound and environmentally friendly. Strengthening information systems and the development of debate and broad dissemination of the knowledge gained will contribute significantly to these changes. And there is no doubt that Acta as the head of this powerful network will play a full role in contributing to progress in this strategic sector for our economy.”