The NATAE consortium met in Tunisia

The NATAE consortium met in Tunisia

At the end of April, the NATAE (North African Transition to AgroEcology) project manager travelled to Tunisia to take part in consortium meetings and the project’s General Meeting, and to attend a training course on Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS).

A mission punctuated by meetings, workshops and the General Assembly

Just over a year into the project, the 22 partner organisations in the NATAE project met in Tunis to discuss the project’s progress and to co-construct future stages.

A number of workshops were held to discuss and capitalise, within each of the project’s agrosystems (cereal plains, oases and peri-oases, peri-urban areas, mountainous areas and irrigated valleys), on :

  • the challenges facing each agrosystem and agro-ecological practices and experiments to meet environmental, social and economic challenges.
  • the factors driving change and the establishment of scenarios for the evolution of agricultural systems
  • public policies that can influence the agro-ecological transition

A day’s visit to the Siliana Living Lab in the cereal-growing plains provided an opportunity to meet and talk to a number of farmers and players involved in agro-ecological practices, and to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the region, particularly in terms of soil fertility and recurring drought.

During the consortium meeting, the CARI focused in particular on the MEDAE network, an emerging network within the framework of NATAE, which aims to be a permanent multi-actor network for exchanges and collaboration on agroecology in the Mediterranean.

Lastly, the project’s General Assembly was an opportunity to approve a number of changes to the project and to draw up an administrative and financial report.

Participatory Guarantee Systems training courses

Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally-oriented production quality assurance systems. They certify producers on the basis of active participation by the stakeholders concerned (producers and consumers) and are built on a foundation of trust, networks and knowledge-sharing.

As part of the NATAE project, the Living Labs will be looking at setting up GSPs in their regions to help producers gain better recognition for their products and better access to the market, and to enable consumers to better identify organic farming products and be sure of their origin and conformity.

RIAM (Réseau des Initiatives AgroEcologiques au Maroc – Network of Agro-Ecological Initiatives in Morocco), which has been involved in the development of a Moroccan GSP for several years, shared its expertise in the labelling process during a two-day training course. Following theoretical contributions, on the first day we discussed the content of specifications and values charters adapted to each living lab in the NATAE project. On the second day of training, we carried out a simulated survey for GSP certification during a farm visit.

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