FAO: a strong agrifood systems program for seven countries, including Morocco

To support agri-aquaculture in dry and arid regions, seven Arab countries will benefit from a more resilient agri-food systems programme.

The preparation of a comprehensive programmatic framework, based on the market-oriented systemic approach for the promotion and support of the development of resilient agrifood systems in the desert and arid environments of the NENA region, which took place from October 13 to 15, 2022 in Tunisia, was attended by experts and government officials from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman and Tunisia.

In fact, the program, which will help rural farming groups located in dry and arid localities where access to high-quality animal protein is often limited and where fish is generally poorly consumed, has focused on agricultural food systems and aquaculture and the different levels of production. , collection, processing, marketing, distribution and consumption.

In addition, the FAO representative in Tunisia, Philippe Ankers, in his speech, emphasized the durability of agri-food production systems in terms of their resistance to the effects of climate change, in order to provide an equitable, diverse and nutritious diet. .

In addition, he indicated that this transformation aims to review the way of producing, processing, distributing and consuming food. As such, FAO will harness technology, innovation and data, carefully addressing issues of management, human potential and institutional development, to accelerate the adoption of quality production systems.

Likewise, the FAO official pointed out that the amount of production of different types of food is very limited in the countries of the NENA region, due to extreme weather conditions. In addition, technological innovation and investment from the private sector, accompanied by public incentive programs and private initiatives, have fostered some experience in the development of aquaculture in arid regions, highlighting that in various research and development programs carried out during the last two decades, there is clearly a growing interest in dryland aquaculture.

On the other hand, the fisheries and aquaculture sector is one of the pillars of the Tunisian agricultural system, according to the director of fisheries and aquaculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Ridha Mrabet, especially since various types of aquaculture represent a significant part in the development of production systems and agricultural use, contributing to the national production in about 17,5% of the total production of aquatic resources. In fact, the sector's production was estimated at more than 130.000 tons last year.

Therefore, the work of this workshop allowed the participants to discuss the reality of aquaculture production systems, the main development constraints, the needs and practical solutions to allow further development of the aquaculture sector in a market systems approach. nationals. Marketing, technological, environmental, and socioeconomic aspects relevant to entrepreneurs and administrative actors in the country are explored as tools to support and promote multi-level sustainable private production initiatives in desert and arid areas.

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