loading

Strengthening of services to farms and institutional support for the development of Organic Agriculture

Place: Bari, italy, Europe
Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products
Total Budget: € 770.000,00 | Period: From September 2005 To November 2007

Summary

Organic Agriculture represents an option of entrepreneurial development to the current status, for a positive situation on European and international markets. Current producers, among whom Apulia region and Italy are leaders at the international level, are not able to meet the demand of organic products. However, new countries, such as PAO countries, which could back up a possible option for the development of this sector through the strengthening of services to farms and the institutional support. 
Conditions underpinning the project aims at promoting organic agriculture development in the Adriatic area through cross-border professional training focusing on strengthening of sector institutions and organizations through:
 Qualification of professional skills in order to strengthen the services offer to farms
 Institutional building by creating the normative and administrative conditions of the Organic Agriculture system in compliance with the European and international legislation.

Partnership

CIHEAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari - Italy

Lead applicant

The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (MAIB) is a Centre for post-graduate training, applied scientific research and design of in-loco partnership actions in the framework of the international cooperation programmes. It works in four thematic areas: “Land and water resources management”, “Integrated pest management of Mediterranean fruit and vegetable crops”, “Mediterranean organic agriculture” and “Sustainable agriculture, food and rural development”.

University of Lecce - Department of Science and Biological and Environmental Technologies - Italy

Initiative partner

University of Bari; Department of Biology and Agro-forestry and Environmental Chemistry; Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding - Italy

Initiative partner

development of quality farming through qualification and strengthening of sector institutions and organizations in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia

The recognition (adoption), in several Countries, of the organic production method; in other Countries, instead, an intervention to promote the adjustment of existing national rules to those in force at Community or international level is requested.
Mitigation of lack of national and regional policies backing up farms, either directly or indirectly, helping them in their conversion to organic agriculture and improving the quality of their productions

  • Improvement of cross border cooperation in the primary sector
  • Institutional strengthening and harmonization of systems: creation of a normative and institutional context through professional qualification and training in the public administration and in the institutions entrusted with the management of the organic farming system.
  • Qualification of professional skills and strengthening of services offered to farms to convert to the organic production method.
  • Dissemination of know-how

Training
N°1 40-hour training course for 20 public administration officers, including the on the job training phase;
N°1 40-hour training course for 20 Certification organizations officers, including the on the job training phase;
Development of a distance learning course for the exchange, sharing and transfer of organic agriculture know-how
N° 1 demonstrative pilot project and n° 10 individuals trained in the laboratory-on the job

Dissemination
Study of the organic and safety agriculture in the Adriatic cross-border region
N° 1 study for the development of the primary sector
N° 1000 stakeholders benefiting from the study
N°1 publication on the project’s results
Implementation of an Internet website on the project

 Networking
N° 1 technical-scientific network with  10 partners and six meetings with the publication of n. 3 reports.
 
Capacity Building
N°6 competence centres whose task will be the transfer of organic agriculture know-how (Italy, Croatia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro; Bosnia & Herzegovina);
N°5 seminars: Croatia, Albania, Serbia; Montenegro; Bosnia & Herzegovina

Albania
• Ministry of Agriculture
• Agriculture University of Tirana
• Biological Research Institute, Academy of Sciences, Tirana
Bosnia & Herzegovina
University of Banjaluka – Faculty of Agriculture
Croatia
• Podravka, Agricultural Development
• Croatian Agriculture Extension Institute
Montenegro
University of Montenegro – Biotechnical Institute
Serbia
Agroinstitute of Sombor 

from the Lead Partner C.I.H.E.A.M. Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (Dr Maroun El Moujabber)
from Partners
Italy
• University of Bari; Department of Biology and Agro-forestry and Environmental Chemistry; Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding (Prof Luigi Ricciardi)
• University of Lecce – Department of Science and Biological and Environmental Technologies (Dr Fabio Ippolito)
• Apulia Region – Cooperation office for developing countries (Dr Vito Amoruso)

the absence of data was the main obstacle

therefore we conducted a study targeted to describe the agro-food scenario of the area, the main production sectors, the actual substantial character of organic farming and its development potentialities. The training needs of the institutional subjects mainly involved in the management of the organic agriculture system were particularly evaluated. The main difficulties for the development of sector/country analyses are the limited availability of the information sources. The national and regional statistical sources, which are relatively scarce and uncertain, does not allow for any detail on the current scenario and any evolution of the agro-food sector. The few available data can be derived from different information sources and are therefore desegregated and not homogeneous. Such a remark inevitably affects the development of the study to the choice of an “integrated” methodology for the information survey based on the intersection of data that result from different sources and are often original.
The following work methodology will apply to the development of the study:
• desk analysis of the information that can be derived from the available databases;
• interviews and questionnaires to experts and privileged local witnesses;
The objective of the analysis is to give a detailed description of the structural situation and, in particular, to detect the elements that can hinder the processes of evolution and introduction of innovative management instruments oriented to improve trade performance as well as relations with international markets. This aspect is of a particular importance with reference to the regulations adjustment that the local agro-food sector must put into practice when dealing with organic products in order to comply with the international standards (rules related to the quality and food security - tracciability) and in particular in organic farming.
Furthermore, there are socio-economic and institutional constraints which may hinder and, in any case, slowdown the evolution of the sector..

The main objective of this study is to provide a description of the main features of agriculture with a special emphasis on organic farming in five countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.
The preliminary aim is to develop a study targeted to describe the agro-food scenario of the area, the main production sectors, the actual substantial character of organic farming and its development potentialities. The training needs of the institutional subjects mainly involved in the management of the organic agriculture system will be particularly evaluated. The main difficulties for the development of sector/country analyses are the limited availability of the information sources.
The national and regional statistical sources, which are relatively scarce and uncertain, do not allow for any detail on the current scenario and any evolution of the agro-food sector. The few available data can be derived from different information sources and are, therefore, desegregated and heterogeneous. Such a remark, inevitably, affects the development of the study to the choice of an “integrated” methodology for the information survey based on the intersection of data that result from different sources and are often original. This study was divided in two parts.
The first part with a country report from five countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Each country report contains:
• General characteristics
• Agriculture in national economy: Social and structural aspects
• Land use and production
• Agricultural politics and the strategies for its development
• Basic institutions providing training in agriculture and rural development
• History and development of organic agriculture
• Development of organic agriculture in figures
• Organic agriculture organizations
• Standards and certification, state regulations
• State support, policy initiatives
• Training (Institutions providing training in organic farming, level of courses, type of courses, curricula)
• Advisory service
• Research (Overview of main institutions carrying out research, list of main publications)
• Challenges and outlook
• Foreign trade of agricultural and organic products
• References

The second part contains the results of a survey carried out in aforementioned countries that aims at identifying the training offers and needs through the distribution of questionnaires to institutions and stakeholders involved in organic agriculture
 

through the Qualification of professional skills and strengthening of services offered to farms to convert to the organic production method

by the development of a network of competence centres experts in organic agriculture in the Adriatic cross-border region (Ministry of Agriculture PAO Countries and Apulia Region).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

through the development of innovative telematic services for the know-how exchange, sharing and transfer to organic farming.
as well as pilot projects for demonstrations about crop diversification that can be practiced in Organic Agriculture, identification of the most suitable varieties for such an agricultural system, adoption of plant structures, both productive and unproductive, functional to the organic agro-ecosystem., composting and biocontrol.