The APOLLO project was successfully launched at its inaugural meeting, held in Thessaloniki, Greece on the 12th and 13th of May 2016.
The pace and output of the meeting reflected the complementarity of the partners and the strength of the several working relationships which already exist between many of them. The discussions converged on issues such as the nature and variety of the target users in the different countries, how best to approach the collection of user requirements, and the technical issues to be overcome in developing the services. A special visitor to the kick-off meeting was a Serbian farmer, invited by the Ruma farmers’ association, who shared his views on the opportunities and challenges of introducing new technological solutions to smallholder farmers.
The APOLLO project brings together nine partners from five European countries (Greece, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Serbia), and combines expertise in agronomy, agricultural services, soil science, remote sensing and Earth Observation. The consortium is proud to include two farmers’ associations – the Agricultural Cooperative of Pella in Greece, and the Association of Farmers of the Municipality of Ruma in Serbia, who will pilot and test early versions of the services. A third pilot will be carried out in Spain.
Preparations are now underway for the collection of user requirements for the APOLLO services through a survey and focus groups. The project team invites interested parties (farmers, agricultural consultants, associations) to get in touch in order to express their views, participate in the survey, and subscribe to the project’s mailing list.