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Mediterranean Agriculture Méditerranéenne: Coping with Global Change

14 June 2013

What are the research priorities for and prospects of partnerships between France, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in terms of adapting Mediterranean agriculture to global change?

This was the topic for discussion at a conference and round tables attended by Michel Eddi, CIRAD President Managing Dierctor, and François Houllier, INRA Chairman and Managing Director, in the presence of the Presidents and Directors of agricultural organizations in the three North African countries. The event was held in Meknès, Morocco, from 24 to 26 April 2013. Six major conclusions were drawn from the discussions.

  • Five research topics appear to be a priority for the region: the risks surrounding resources, particularly water and soils; agricultural production and food security; emerging plant and animal diseases; and urbanization and dietary habits.
  • It is necessary to fight against the fragmentation of research structures and work to develop collaborative research programmes capable of tackling current issues, given the extent of the challenges facing agriculture in the region and the additional threat posed by climate change.
  • It is vital to develop links with agricultural and agrifood economic sectors and professionals , when drafting research programmes and throughout their implementation.
  • Building regional research platforms and seeing the development of partnerships in terms of co-location are of major value in the fields of both research and economic partnership.
  • Renewing the forces of research is a necessity. This means working to train junior researchers in such a way as to fit in with future research programmes.
  • Science is a shared language and stepping up cooperation in the field of scientific research is a major factor for fostering cooperation between the countries in the region.

June 2013

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