Training session analysis on hops cultivation - EFA Galicia - Santiago de compostela, Spain

Structure EFA Galicia
Target group
  • Trainers
  • Others
Duration 14 days along 10 months
Preamble Since 1982 it stopped producing hops in Galicia due to the strong pressure on prices and lack of productive competitiveness by low mechanization. The main use of hops has historically been brewing, providing its characteristic aroma and bitterness. But, hops has many other utilities; for example in pharmacology, for its sedative, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory and anticancer properties Today, hops is again cultivated in Galicia thanks to research carried out in recent years about this plant by Agricultural Research Centre of Mabegondo (CIAM), in collaboration with Corporation Hijos de Rivera S.L. (Manufacturing and distribution company Estrella Galicia). Following the implementation of this research project about hops reactivation, the private initiatives have emerged in Galicia which have been grouped mainly in the cooperative LUTEGA - Hops Technology of Galicia. This type of production is not listed in official training itineraries of farming but there are a number of hours available to educational centers in which can be entered training in organic farming, which facilitates the transmission of agroecological knowledge in this type crop. The ultimate goal of this training itinerary is the transmission of agroecological knowledge associated with hops crops for brewing beer and other future products derived from this plant.
Principles of action The calendar of training activities scheduled will be held in parallel with the natural process of growing hops. In each of the phases, the tasks, that will develop in training itinerary, are broken down. On the one hand there is a process of information retrieval and on the other, an itinerary for the transmission of recovered agroecological knowledge is established. In this itinerary the trainer acquires knowledge by technicians and former producers, to transmit after this knowledge to future or current producers.
Phases in the training pathway __Preparatory phase__ The objective of this phase is to provide the trainer all the necessary information about agroecological knowledge to transmit to the target public. This phase includes the following activities : • Preparation work (contact former and current farmers in agroecological practices). • Information collection (The trainer or group of trainers collects information from people contacted - Conducting interviews, surveys and collection of graphic documentation). • Analysis of the information collected (The trainer or trainers meet to select and organize the information collected) __Training phase with students__ They are carried out training activities with students who find scheduled depending on the natural cycle of growing hops. These activities will be developed sometimes in classrooms and other in field. The training itinerary of this phase is broken down into the following program : • Exhibition in the classroom of the information collected in classroom training activities are performed, so that students know the work methodology to be followed and the information collected by the trainer • Discussion and analysis of information in the classroom. The aim is that the students handle some knowledge to develop later the sessions in field • Field practice They can be of two types : - Application of good ecological practices on-farm production tasks, following the natural process of cultivation. - Field visits to observe and practice how is the process of hop growing • Feedback in the classroom In this step and again in the classroom, the trainer and students analyse all the graphic material of the previous phases to analyse, record and organize all information processed.
Observed interest of the training process • We note that taking information before starting an agro-ecological activity is important to contextualize the situation, especially for the student at the moment of training itinerary implementation. • It is also noted that practical work helps awareness and reflection by the student and the trainer on the importance of the application of agroecological knowledge in agricultural production. • The itinerary activities, both in time and content, must be flexible to adapt to the crop cycle and training needs. • It is important the involvement of the educational community and the social environment of the producer for properly run the activities and itinerary. • Most of the trainees, in a first approach to hop cultivation, only see an economic purpose and they are only motivated by crop yield, but it is something which changes as they participate in training itinerary and they discover the social and environmental benefits provided by the production techniques used.
Limits and difficulties encountered • Regarding the trainers, it is difficult to find trainers aware in agroecology. • It is difficult to introduce all contents, due conditions of organization of the curriculum established for the intermediate level of agricultural production, and the Education Ministery does not allow to adapt it by geographical areas or particular interests of each school. • It can raise a doubt about the continuity of the itinerary in time, if the professional experiences around the cultivation of hops aren't formalized in the short term.
Recommendations • The confrontation between the existing and future farmers is required, in order to make the learning process more effective and the transmission of agroecological knowledge more productive • The creation of students groups, with common interests, will also be necessary to facilitate the deepening in the agroecological processes • It would be of great interest to involve public institutions at local and regional level in the importance of the valorisation of agroecological knowledge and the impact on the future of their territory and to make them aware of the importance in implementing this type of training itineraries.
Speakers José Gil / Rosa Leis
Contact email

Location of the training session

Adress Ponte de San Lázaro 11A
Post code 15703
City Santiago de Compostela
Country Spain