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Italian – Tunisian Observatory at the SERVice of a sustainable and quality AGRIculture

Place: tunisia, Africa
Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products
Total Budget: € 799.700,00 | Period: From November 2011 To

Summary

SERVAGRI project, ENPI CBC Italy-Tunisia 2007-2013 Programme, aims at developing, jointly, strategies and pilot actions for the integration of agri-food productive chains, capable, on one hand, to enhance and make more competitive the typical and quality productions; on the second hand, to increase the level of food quality and safety, while respecting the principles of sustainable development. More specifically, it focused on improving quality, safety standards and environmental sustainability of local productions, increasing their added value and competitiveness, implementing sectoral strategic projects able to contribute to the increasing of quantities through a transboundary basket of agri-food products, developing collaborative models and partnerships between enterprises and between public and private spheres (PPP), structuring the organisation of the productive chains according to the logic of ‘cross-border clusters’ of euro-Mediterranean matrix.

Partnership

Eloro Local Action Group – Mixed Consortium with limited liability - Italy

Lead applicant

The Eloro LAG aims at the enhancement and development of its rural district in each sector of socio- economic life, implementing all those actions aiming at integrated and sustainable development. Main activities: - planning and management of local, regional, national and EU projects - territorial diagnosis and elaboration of development plans in all the economic sectors - population sensitisation - technical assistance for local partnerships creation, elaboration of local strategies for integrated development and research funding for potential beneficiaries - promotion of projects with innovative and demonstrative elements - technical support and animation of rural development, identifying the needed initiatives for the revival of food, agriculture and handicraft enterprises in the rural sphere - feasibility studies, technical advice in favour of SMEs and other activities of farmers, artisans and services operators, also through the research of potential markets, domestic and international ones - creation of social, cultural, environmental and tourism projects and events

Zarzis Association for sustainable development and International cooperation - Tunisia

Initiative partner

In this project ADDCI Zarzis plays the role of Associate Member. The ADDCI - Zarzis for sustainable development and international cooperation was created in 2002, it contributes to the social inclusion of the poor people in general and women and young people in particular, their micro-credit granting and implementing development activities with an approach involving the effective participation of the people concerned, as it contributes to the enhancement of cultural, architectural and tourist heritage of the region and work to promote actions for the conservation of the ecosystem.

South South International Cooperation - Italy

Initiative partner

CISS is a non -profit organisation founded in 1985 and from 1989 has been recognised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a non-governmental organization (NGO) such as to promote and carry out cooperation projects with developing countries (Ministerial Decree No. 1989/128/3638/O of 6.12.1989). In addition to international cooperation activities, all over the world, CISS achieves local development initiatives in favour of the marginalised sectors of population, the non-EU immigrants and refugees. Equally important are campaigns to raise public awareness and the education of students and young people on development issues.

EURISPES Sicily - Italy

Initiative partner

EURISPES Sicily, affiliated to Eurispes national entity that is based in Rome, is a non-profit Institute of Studies that operates in the field of political, economic and social research, in order to carry out studies of research on behalf of companies, public and private entities, national and international institutions. It promotes and finances independently surveys on topics of social interest, cultural activities, conferences, scholarships, and publishing initiatives, serving as an independent centre of information and guidance of public opinion and major decision areas that operate in Italy.

Italian Farmers Confederation Syracuse - Italy

Initiative partner

The CIA, created in 1977, operates in Italy, in Europe and internationally for the advancement of agriculture and for the defence of the income and equal dignity and of farmers in society. It organises farmers and all those who are related to the agricultural activity bay non-transitory relationships. The CIA is organised in category associations, institutes and companies who work on food security and environmental protection, in the fields of social security, social, health, and tax, technical advice, training, insurance, agro-tourism, organic farming and for the protection of the elderly, women and youth. The confederation has representatives in major international organisms at international, European, national, regional and provincial levels.

Association for the Promotion of Employment and Housing - Tunisia

Initiative partner

APEL is intended to help target populations to promote and develop themselves. It operates in the poorest areas of forests and mountains of north-western Tunisia (Governorates of Kef, Jendouba, Beja and Bizerte) With over 30 years experience in the field of rural development, it is recognised to be of National Interest Its activities are developed in the fields of education, programs for population, agriculture, forestry and fishing, protection of the environment.

Towards a Mediterranean basket of safe, fully traceable and quality agri-food products through an incubator of juvenile and female micro-enterprises acting in the new-economies and able to improve life conditions in the rural milieu.

The main tool for innovation is the centre of excellence for innovative modernisation and re-organisation of agri-food chains and for high-level training and incubation of Italian and Tunisian youth and women micro-enterprises, named the “SERVAGRI Observatory”. This practical-operational tool, conceived as a positive example of public-private non-profit partnership, as provided for by its statute of association, has showed 'on the field' to be able to create and promote a cross-border basket of food products of high quality and full traceability, characterised by conditions of absolute transparency in food safety and able to support and protect a common brand in the area of cooperation, as well as to enforce the specific rules, protocols and production handbooks and guidelines able to ensure these conditions and peculiarities. The successful experience of the two Short Chain Markets organised in both the cooperation territories has been one of the most innovating results achieved.

Making organic compost This picture refers to one of the pilot interventions carried out in the field, where, in particular, we proceeded to a demonstration action on the organic compost and the treatment it should receive to be a quality one. In particular, it can be seen the intervention of international experts, along with local owners, entrepreneurs and operators, during the on-the-job lesson made with the pilot action.
Oil mill before and after This picture refers to one of the pilot interventions carried out in the field, where, in particular, we proceeded to a demonstration action on the oil mill and the treatment it should receive for the production of an extra virgin quality olive oil. In particular, it can be seen, on the left, the conditions of the crusher before the SERVAGRI intervention, and, on the right, its state after the treatment made with the pilot action.
SERVAGRI Observatory Opening The Italian-Tunisian Observatory at SERVice of the Sustainable and Quality AGRIculture «SERVAGRI», has its headquarters is at INAT in Tunisia, and it deals with a unitary promo-marketing of the Basket SERVAGRI in local markets and in new emerging markets, along with improving the quality of life in rural areas. This mainly through the innovative reorganisation and upgrading of agri-food chains and the provision of services for pre-incubation and incubation of youth and women micro-enterprises
Working in beehives This picture refers to one of the pilot interventions carried out in the field, where, in particular, we proceeded to a demonstration action on the beehives and the treatment they should receive for the production of an extra quality honey. In particular, it can be seen the intervention of international experts, along with local owners and operators, before the treatment made with the pilot action.

In both project areas the dualism between modern and traditional agriculture is strong. This project developed pilot actions ”on-the-job” to be positioned in a larger integrated and sustainable development project covering an area wider than the local, regional and national one. It boosted skills of entrepreneurs and technicians, facing the lack of homogeneity in the approaches used for development initiatives. It achieved high training initiatives for the know-how and innovative practices transfer in both countries, favouring participatory subjects representing the territory interests to implement a successful collaboration between research centres, universities, business operators, the authorities and the political choices of agri-food, managing to offer a chains’ updating program and legislative/regulatory choices consistent with the local community need based on successful practices, such as the productive clusters/districts of quality, food safety and environmental sustainability.

Environmental scenario This picture refers to one of the pilot interventions carried out in the field, showing the good environmental conditions in which the project has intervened, mainly through its four pilot actions on olive growing, beekeeping, organic farming and short chain. A land almost untouched, with people so available and keen to know how they can improve their knowledge and production capacity while preserving the conditions of soil, water, air and plants
Human scenario This picture refers to one of the pilot interventions carried out in the field, showing the so good human conditions in which our international experts acted: a well mixed audience between male and female operators, entrepreneurs and technicians, very careful in following the lectures given in advance before the field treatment made with the pilot action.
Pilot action on olive-growing This project has developed four pilot actions ”on-the-job” on Olive-growing, Beekeeping, Organic Agriculture and Short Chain, that can be positioned in a larger development process truly integrated and sustainable. It boosted skills and qualification of entrepreneurs and technicians, often inadequate, facing the lack of homogeneity in the approaches used for development initiatives, with the aim to create a common transboundary basket of agri-food quality products.

At the end, the SERVAGRI cross-border basket of conventional and organic agri-food products triggers a  change of attitude for producers, organising their chain’s production process; and for consumers, guided to transparency and high quality standards when buying food. This, through an applied research, producing 6 study visits “on the ground”, 40 case studies; protocols, toolkits and manual of good practices, production handbooks and guidelines, chain regulations, transparent labels, an umbrella quality mark. The two Farmers’ Markets held in April and June 2014 in Tunis and Syracuse, registered a full success of attending people and a great impact on rural producers and urban consumers, apart from a great media feedback and success. SERVAGRI contributed to the implementation of a concrete capacity building in agri-food sector, in increasing local empowerment, knowledge and awareness among workers and the creation of enthusiasm and confidence of people on the many potential opened up.

SERVAGRI observatory N. 4 Handbooks on Olive growing, Beekeeping, Organic Farming and Short Chain, drawn up by the experts of the pilot projects.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Main developed initiatives This documents summarises the main developed activities and the most important obtained results. It is important to stress that the SERVAGRI Observatory created, will continue its activity even after the project conclusion and is already working for its economic sustainability
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf TRANSPARENT LABELS N. 4 transparent labels to be shown at the sales counters of food (Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Honey, Fruits and Vegetables, Dairy products) to improve food information and traceability.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf VADEMECUM N. 4 Handbooks on Olive growing, Beekeeping, Organic Farming and Short Chain, drawn up by the experts of the pilot projects.

Target groups:
- Little entrepreneurs/economic operators
- Consumers
- Decision–makers, officers,managers
- Government agencies, schools, hospitals, universities, prisons, local institutions, including ho.re.ca. sector
- Operators in agricultural, agri-food quality and safety sector
- Category representatives.
Final beneficiaries:
- Small farms and family agriculture operators
- Producer organisations
- Public administrations
- Specialists in agriculture and agri-food sectors
- Small and medium enterprises
- General consumers/population.
Specific needs:
Improving the culture of food information to producers and consumers from both countries, increasing their sensitivity on the subject and paying attention to quality guarantees, transparency and traceability offered by the products to consumers, so they can gain materially in levels of health, so contributing concretely to savings in public spending for health care related to illnesses caused by unhealthy or harmful diets.  

Buyers of direct selling These 2 pictures relate to the success, in terms of buyers and consumers, of the products with quality mark SERVAGRI sold during the organisation of the Short Chain Markets both in Tunis and in Syracuse: the so relevant success was due to the possibility for the buyer to know the producers, the origin of the products, their level of guaranteed quality and their general affordability compared to the prices of the large-scale distribution.
Buyers of direct selling These 2 pictures relate to the success, in terms of buyers and consumers, of the products with quality mark SERVAGRI sold during the organisation of the Short Chain Markets both in Tunis and in Syracuse: the so relevant success was due to the possibility for the buyer to know the producers, the origin of the products, their level of guaranteed quality and their general affordability compared to the prices of the large-scale distribution.
Producers of direct selling This video shows some interviews to producers who sell their products at the 1st Short Chain Market held in Tunis in April 2014; they also comment the advantages of the SERVAGRI experience.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf PROTOCOLE ACCORD Agreement between the SERVAGRI Observatory and Institutions, Private Organisms and Agricultural Enterprises subscribing it.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI MARK REGULATION Regulation containing all the rules to be followed by the producers joining the SERVAGRI Quality Mark

The project organisms are: Steering Committee, responsible for overseeing the interventions running, coordinate and manage all project activities; General Coordinator, directing all project activities in accordance with the SC and in collaboration with Local Coordinators; a General Secretariat and a team with significant experience in managing projects financed by EU and development programs support him; Local Coordinators, one per partner; Local Working Groups, skilled in the project intervention fields, with specific tasks and flanked by experts. In particular:N.3 Senior Experts skilled in development projects; N.2 Consultants skilled in monitoring and technical assistance; N.1 communication expert; N.1 Webmaster expert in communication by new media;N. 2 Secretaries skilled in the management of communication flows; N.1 Project manager skilled in the management of the project life cycle in problem solving and project management; N.11 agronomists; N. 2 skilled socioeconomic animators

Beekeeping experts This picture shows the group of experts of international level who, day by day, transferred their know-how to local operators, entrepreneurs and technicians, in order to demonstrate them how to produce a high quality honey that is worthy of exposing the labelling with mark SERVAGRI.
Olive growing experts This picture shows the group of experts of international level who, day by day, transferred their know-how to local operators, entrepreneurs and technicians, in order to demonstrate them how to produce a high quality extra virgin olive oil that is worthy of exposing the labelling with mark SERVAGRI.
Experts of pilot project This video shows the interviews to the experts of the SERVAGRI pilot projects and an interview to a beekeeper participant to the beekeeping pilot project, stating the positive results in terms of better quality of its honey.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Scheme of staff SERVAGRI Scheme of staff

The major difficulty has been the delay in the payment of the second fraction of financing, by the Managing Authority, for almost a year. This circumstance led to a sharp slowdown of project activities, as all partners had exhausted their resources. To remedy this situation, it was repeatedly requested to extend the end date of the project; these prorogations have been granted.
Another aspect may be the initial difficulty we faced to involve Tunisian institutions: only when they have touched the project concrete results, they have massively adhered and supported the SERVAGRI Observatory but, at the project beginning, the majority of them did not want to be involved in this, totally new for them, adventure.Evidently, there is a lack of updated legislation and appropriate or updated rules, that raises many fears in a number of local bodies.

Administrative problems This project has had to overcome significant administrative problems resolved only thanks to the cohesive project partnership.

To meet the new challenges of the EU2020 strategy, implemented in Italy by the CIPE decision N. 57 of 02/08/2001 "Strategy for the environmental application of sustainable development in Italy", SERVAGRI aims to support and stimulate procedures for the use of sustainable environmental resources, the promotion of local environmental heritage and the green economy development, especially in the agribusiness.
Also, the project promotes initiatives and cultural events to increase and disseminate skills and sensitivity in the field of smart, inclusive and sustainable development, while giving a strong message about the importance of quality, traceability and food safety towards the use of land, water and the local environment. Main example in this direction are the four pilot actions for olive oil, honey, organic products and short chain agri-food products, as well as the Handbook of good practices and the Short Chain Markets organised by the SERVAGRI Observatory in the transboundary area.

SERVAGRI and the environment These 3 pictures relate the actions implemented in the SERVAGRI pilot projects and, in particular, the pilot action on Organic Agriculture; this pilot actions along with the chains modernisation, representing the focus of our project, reduce in incisive way the impacts on energy savings, biodiversity defence and the complete product lifecycle.
SERVAGRI and the environment These 3 pictures relate the actions implemented in the SERVAGRI pilot projects and, in particular, the pilot action on Organic Agriculture; this pilot actions along with the chains modernisation, representing the focus of our project, reduce in incisive way the impacts on energy savings, biodiversity defence and the complete product lifecycle.
SERVAGRI and the environment These 3 pictures relate the actions implemented in the SERVAGRI pilot projects and, in particular, the pilot action on Organic Agriculture; this pilot actions along with the chains modernisation, representing the focus of our project, reduce in incisive way the impacts on energy savings, biodiversity defence and the complete product lifecycle.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI Specifications N. 4 Specification on Olive growing, Beekeeping, Organic Farming and Short Chain, containing the prescription to be respected by the producers joining them.

The project is in progress, but working great for duplicability and transferability. In fact, expected results currently attained are having a multiplier effect out of the target area, helping to improve the competitiveness of small and family managed enterprises in the agri-food sector. Also, the project is improving relationships between all the parties in the medium-long term to promote transnational cooperation in local planning for integrated, sustainable and shared local development. Private category organisations, events’ organisers and promoters of interests also towards operators belonging to related sectors are increasing their knowledge of both sides, base necessary to trigger synergistic cooperation process and dynamics of sustainable and eco-friendly development. The SERVAGRI Observatory is becoming a common reference point for operators involved in the cross-border territories for sharing common sustainable development strategies in the free trade Euro-Mediterranean area.

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Final Publication Draft Final publication containing the history of the project, the implemented activities, the achievements reached and the prospective for the future
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf MANUAL OF GOOD PRACTICES DRAFT Manual of Good Practices also containing 40 case studies of exemplary cases in the themes of tradition, diversity and innovation in the quality agri-food sector. Draft in progress.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI BROCHURE Brochure for the dissemination of Food Security, Quality and Traceability, also containing the basic information on SERVAGRI project, such as the project presentation, partnership and objectives.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI DEPLIANT Leaflet on the SERVAGRI Observatory containing its most important information, made in occasion oh the inauguration ceremony of the Observatory

Communication and dissemination activities are implemented according with a specific Communication Plan. Among the several tools implemented, we stress:
N.1 Web Portal (www.servagri.eu); N.1 Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/servagri.eu); Participation of the General Coordinator at the Technical Seminar "Rural development in the Mediterranean" on 4-5/02/2014, during the X Meeting of the14 Ministers of Agriculture of the CIHEAM in Algiers, N.1 TV report on RAI 3 (telecast named MEDITERRANEO http://youtu.be/bWnBF1f0dzk). N.1 article on the CIHEAM Watch Letter n°24 of March 2013 http://www.servagri.eu/index.php/fr/revue-de-presse?download=34:watch-letter-ciheam-n-24-march-2013. N.1 workshop organised by the “Italia Lavoro” Agency, in Tunis on 27/02/2014, which has seen SERVAGRI protagonist.  SERVAGRI Observatory organised the 1st Farmers’ Market in Tunis, on 26-27 April 2014, an innovative event of great success

First Farmer’s Market in Tunis The two Farmers’ Markets organised in April and June 2014 in Tunis and Syracuse under the SERVAGRI quality mark and regulations, registered a full success of attending people and a great impact on both rural producers and urban consumers, apart from a great media feedback and success.
4th SERVAGRI Field visit One of the six field visits carried out within the SERVAGRI activities, which covered topics related to organic farming, olive growing, beekeeping and short chain: the visits have been a practical chance of sharing, on-the-job, between operators, technicians, researchers, entrepreneurs and project partners. This short video concerns the visit dedicated to beekeeping.
SERVAGRI TV service on TG3 Broadcast service on the TG Sicily news edition of June 22, 2014 at 19:30 about the second SERVAGRI Market of Short Chain held in Syracuse (Italy) at the Old Market in Ortigia: the event was largely successful among the participants of both producers and consumers and saw the intervention of the Regional Agriculture Councillor along with the representatives of the most important category associations.
SERVAGRI on the Italian State TV A very interesting reportage about the SERVAGRI project made and broadcasted on national TV RAI 3 channel on the 1st of June 2014. In addition to numerous interviews made in Tunis, during the 1st SERVAGRI Farmer’s Market other important testimonies by agro-food operators, consumers, experts in the field and institutional representatives.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI BANNER An example of banner used at the SERVAGRI Workshop held in Tunis on 28th April 2014 on.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI BROCHURE Brochure for the dissemination of Food Security, Quality and Traceability, also containing the basic information on SERVAGRI project, such as the project presentation, partnership and objectives.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI DEPLIANT Leaflet on the SERVAGRI Observatory containing its most important information, made in occasion oh the inauguration ceremony of the Observatory
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI ROLL-UP The project roll-ups, used in all the project events.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf SERVAGRI important links We recommend a visit to the suggested links to explore the contents of the SERVAGRI project and to assess its scope in terms of dissemination.