Adaptation to Climate Change of the Mediterranean Agricultural Systems

Place: Not Applicable, _NO_MAIN_REGION
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 4.374.566,00 | Period: From December 2011 To


The overall objective is to bring a durable improvement of agricultural production and a broader economic development of the six target Mediterranean areas through the adoption of the best land and water management practices (BMP) and abiotic stress resistant varieties of cereals and legumes.
The beneficiaries, located in the risky areas, are: rural societies (farmers and growers), farmers’  associations (including small scale breeding enterprises), NGOs, local governmental extension services (water managers and agricultural advisors) and governmental research institutions (policy makers).
The results are: 6 demonstration fields equipped with meteo stations; 2 years of demonstration and on-ground implementation of BMP at 120 farmer’s fields over more than 240 ha; 24 training courses and 600 persons trained; 60 field days with 1200 local stakeholders; 2 guidelines, 24 brochures, 6 seminars, 180 minutes of video material, project web site with more than 4500 visitors in 2 years.


Technical Institute for Field Crops - Algeria

Initiative partner

The Technical Institute for Field Crops (ITGC) is an Algerian public organization with administrative character; the institute is under the authority of the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture. The ITGC has nine experimental stations distributed throughout the national territory. The Institute carries out its activities in close collaboration with international organizations such as FAO, CCCE, CIMMYT, and IAMB.

Association of the Friends of Ibrahim AbdEl Al - Lebanon

Initiative partner

AFIAL is a scientific association that seeks to honor the memory of one of the most eminent scientists in Lebanon in the water and electricity fields, and to encourage the new generation of engineers to specialize in these fields. The Association aspires at increasing awareness regarding issues and problems related to water and energy by spreading the spirit and ideas of Ibrahim Abd El Al. The Association stresses in its actions on awareness for the public and advocacy for water issues in Lebanon. The association has several activities including: Awards and assistantships to graduate students and professionals in Water and Energy fields. Training and workshops for Engineer and Agriculture students. Lectures on Water and Energy Topics. Field trips to the Litani Projects for students and decision makers. Documentary film on the Litani River. Awareness campaigns on value of water and on pollution of Water.

Agriculture, Environment and Development for the Future - Morocco

Initiative partner

AGENDA is a farmers and agriculture conservation partners association, the member have several experience related to agriculture and water resources management including:  Members of the association are called to participate in the Moroccan National Committee for Climate Change (CNCC) established in the framework of the UNFCCC initiatives;  Participation in city greenbelt three planting;  Environmental manifestation “Earth Day”, school student awareness on environment protection.

The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom - United Kingdom

Initiative partner

The University of Nottingham is a public research universitybased in Nottingham,it is a research-led institution whichhas contributed to a number of significant scientific advances.

University of Lleida - Spain

Initiative partner

The main aim of the University of Lleida is the education of its students. It provides high standards of teaching with quality services throughout the university community that reach society beyond the campus. Students make up most of the UdL community, and the objective is to ensure that they enjoy the teaching and learning processes involved.University of Lleida laboratories have developed strong experiences in EU-INCO projects.

University of Barcelona, Spain - Spain

Initiative partner

The University of Barcelona (UB) is Spain’s leading research university, publishing more research than any other Spanish institution with the exception of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). UB is a public university located in the city of Barcelona,Catalonia in Spain. With 75 undergraduate programs, 353 graduate programs and 96 doctorate programs to over 63,700 students, UB was considered to be the best University in Spain in the 2011 QS World University Rankings.

National Research Council - Italy

Initiative partner

CNR is the largest public research institution in Italy, the only one under the Research Ministry performing multidisciplinary activities. The Mission as fixed by its new Statute in force as of April 1st 2011, CNR’s mission is to perform research in its own Institutes, to promote innovation and competitiveness of the national industrial system, to promote the internationalization of the national research system, to provide technologies and solutions to emerging public and private needs, to advice Government and other public bodies, and to contribute to the qualification of human resources.

The Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change - Italy

Initiative partner

The mission of the CMCC is to improve our understanding of the nature and mechanisms of climate variability, its causes and its impacts, with a special emphasis on the Mediterranean area and its interactions with the global climate. Through the capabilities of its members and associate centres, the CMCC delivers scientific-technical products and technical support to Ministries, Regions and Provinces and the private sector in fields such as:  Climate change assessments;  The protection of the marine environment of the Mediterranean Sea towards a sustainable use of the resources;  Ecology, forestry science, health and economy;  Risk management (natural hazards related to climate, oil spills, coastal euthrophication, water resources, etc.);  Transportation, agriculture, energy and tourism.

National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension - Ministry of Agriculture - Jordan

Initiative partner

NCARE is a semi–autonomous institution and a leading center for research and extension in Jordan. It houses most agricultural research, projects and extension activities. NCARE is the supportive pillar for agricultural sector to achieve sustainability, protect the environment and achieve food security. It Serves as reference center for developing, conducting applied agricultural research and disseminate the results in order to achieve comprehensive and sustainable agricultural development through optimal use of the available natural resources and preserve environment. NCARE Goals:  Adopt the latest research findings from local and other sources for the purpose of improving agricultural production.  Conservation, preservation, and sustainable use of natural resources.  Achieve food security.  Maintain ecological balance through sustainable use of available resources without jeopardizing environmental status

National Institute for Agricultural Research - Morocco

Initiative partner

The INRA is a public autonomous research organization under the auspices of Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture. INRA was established on 8 April 1981 and evolved from its predecessor, the Directorate of Research. Within its new mandate, INRA’s responsibilities include: i) carrying out research and technical activities in order to develop the agricultural and livestock sectors; ii) carrying out prospective research studies, particularly those related to natural resources and the environment; iii) undertaking experimental trials - either at INRA’s own initiative or at the request of other; iv) dissemination of relevant information and knowledge related both to its own research and to research undertaken elsewhere; v) defining the scientific practicability and applicability of its own research results and advising extension services and farmers; vi) disseminating research results, studies and other activities.

Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egypt - Egypt

Initiative partner

Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) manages quarantine controls at Egyptian borders to minimize the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country. CAPQ also provides import and export inspection and certification to help retain highly favourable agriculture product status and wide access to overseas export markets. The project aimed to support the livelihood in rural areas by improving agricultural practices as well as the quality of fruit and vegetable local production and enhancing the latter on the international market. The project has been funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and the Italian Regions in the frame of the “National Programme to support Decentralized Cooperation by Italian Regions toward Mediterranean Countries”; it has been also funded partially by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

International Center for Agricultural research in the Dry Areas - Lebanon

Initiative partner

ICARDA’s Vision is improved livelihoods of the resource-poor in the dry areas. ICARDA’s Mission is to contribute to the improvement of livelihoods of the resource-poor in dry areas by enhancing food security and alleviating poverty through research and partnerships to achieve sustainable increases in agricultural productivity and income, while ensuring the efficient and more equitable use and conservation of natural resources. ICARDA has a global Mandate for the improvement of barley, lentil and faba bean and serves the non-tropical dry areas for the improvement of on-farm water-use efficiency, rangeland and small-ruminant production. ICARDA’s research portfolio is structured under four themes: • Biodiversity and Integrated Gene Management • Integrated Water and Land Management • Diversification and Sustainable Intensification of Production Systems • Social, Economic and Policy Research Alongside research, and integrated within it, capacity development (training) lies at the heart of ICARDA’s purpose. ICARDA works with partners such as national research/extension agencies, NGOs, development investors, universities, specialized research institutes, farmer cooperatives, and with the private sector.

National Institute of Agricultural Research of Tunisia - Tunisia

Initiative partner

• Mener des programmes de recherche dans le domaine des Sciences Agronomiques et des études socio-économiques du monde rural. • Créer des variétés végétales et des races animales améliorées. • Participer à la formation et à l’encadrement des étudiants et des techniciens. • Apporter son concours aux activités de vulgarisation

Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute - Lebanon

Initiative partner

Government Research for improving production in Lebanon dates back to the establishment of Tel Amara Station in the Bekaa Valley immediately after World War II as an agricultural training center. Later, in 1957, it became the Department of Agricultural Scientific Research of the Ministry of Agriculture. Other stations were established at Tourbol (Bekaa) for animal production, Abde (North) and Sour (South) for citrus. In 1964, the Department of Agricultural Scientific Research was reorganized as an autonomous public institution and became the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) working under the supervision of the Minister of Agriculture. More research stations were established at Fanar (Mount Lebanon) for animal health and agriculture, at Kfarshakhna (North) for soil, irrigation and farm machinery research. Both Tourbol and Kfardane were later, in the late seventies, handed over to the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies/ Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari - Italy

Initiative partner

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:

Sustainable improvement in the agricultural water management and economic development of six Mediterranean areas (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Algeria) in the context of adaptation to climate change.

The target areas are located in 6 Mediterranean countries sharing the following characteristics a) economic development strongly relies on agriculture (cereals and/or legumes) b) low rainfall and variable with erratic distribution, seasonal droughts occur regularly c) water, salinity and heat stress are the primary constraints to improve production d) gender disparity is present in most sectors including agriculture e) instability of agricultural production. Based on mentioned constraints, the project participates to both stabilise cereals and legumes production in the target areas and to help cereals and legumes industry value chain to sustain or improve crop performance into the medium term, by being better prepared to combat the effects of climate change. Hence, the Mediterranean cereal- and legume-growing community will assimilate the advantages of applying the varieties tolerant to abiotic stresses, modern breeding strategies and appropriate water management practices.

Fig. 1. Target areas located in six Mediterranean eco-geographical location Fig. 1. Target areas located in six Mediterranean eco-geographical locations and target crops
Fig. 2. ACLIMAS Project management diagram Fig. 2. ACLIMAS Project management diagram
Fig. 3. Schematic representation of most probably duration and timing for t Fig. 3. Schematic representation of most probably duration and timing for the main activities
Photo 03. ACLIMAS Demonstration field in the region of Irbid, Jordan. The c Photo 03. ACLIMAS Demonstration field in the region of Irbid, Jordan. The cultivated crop is durum wheat combined with conventional (left) and zero (right) tillage practices.
Photo 04. On-field implementation in the region of BekaaValley, Lebanon. Co Photo 04. On-field implementation in the region of BekaaValley, Lebanon. Comparison of two wheat varieties in different sowing dates.
Photo 2- ACLIMAS on-farm implementation field in the region of Zaghouan, Tu Photo 2- ACLIMAS on-farm implementation field in the region of Zaghouan, Tunisia
Photo1. ACLIMAS Demonstration field in the region of Settat-Morocco. Two cr Photo1. ACLIMAS Demonstration field in the region of Settat-Morocco. Two crops are cultivated- Durum wheat (left) and Tricalia (right)

The project is focused mainly on cereals and legumes genotypes resistant to water, heat and salinity stress because: a) there is a considerable interest in increasing the contribution of these food crops in agricultural systems b) durum wheat is the most important strategic crop in many Mediterranean countries c) barley is the second most widely grown cereal in the Mediterranean basin d) in the medium-term, global warming effects are likely to exercise a negative impact on durum wheat productivity e) chickpea is one the major legume crops grown in the study area f) faba bean has a very wide agro-ecological distribution and it fits within the EU priority to replace imported soya g) Cereals and legumes are complementary crops in Mediterranean agricultural systems. So, the project is contributing to promote water efficient farming systems able to adapt to climate change, promoting food security for the local communities while reducing pollution and impact on the environment.

Introduction to ACLIMAS project: context of the initiative, objectives and Introduction to ACLIMAS project: context of the initiative, objectives and perspectives.

The initiative succeeded to improve water productivity in agriculture and more stable agricultural production in target areas, the main results and outputs of the action are summarized as follow:
- 6 demonstration fields with agro-meteorological stations, other equipment and Excel-based irrigation for the generation of soil water balance and management of irrigation scheduling;
- 2 years of testing (more than 134 combinations of genotypesof cereals and legumes and water management practices);
- 24 training courses and 600 farmers, technicians and water managers trained;
- 60 field days with the participation of 1200 local stakeholders;
- 2 years on-ground implementation of the best performing varieties and water harvesting and management practices in a surface area of at least 240 ha with the involvement of more than 120 farmers;
- 2 guidelines, 24 brochures, 6 seminars, 180 minutes of video material, project web site,etc.

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf List of materials and documents released through the project List of materials and documents released through the project

The main target groups and final beneficiaries of this action are local and national decision-makers and stakeholders on existing and forthcoming threats to water use in agricultural sector. They are selected by local partners and include rural societies (i.e. farmers and growers), farmers’ and water users’ associations (including small scale breeding enterprises), NGOs, local governmental extension services (i.e. water managers and agricultural advisors) and governmental research institutions (i.e. policy makers). Local governmental institutions, in collaboration with EU partners, (i) test and implement on the large scale the proposed water management practices, tailored to each of the six target regions, and (ii)  train and support local farmers and iii) disseminate the project results to a wide audience.

Photo 05. Visit of ACLIMAS project teamto a demonstration field and measure Photo 05. Visit of ACLIMAS project teamto a demonstration field and measurement of canopy temperature by thermal camerain Ibrid, Jordan.
Photo 06. Participants in field day ensured by ACLIMAS team, Settat, Morocc Photo 06. Participants in field day ensured by ACLIMAS team, Settat, Morocco.
Photo 07. Local farmers and ACLIMAS team participating in field day activit Photo 07. Local farmers and ACLIMAS team participating in field day activities in KhemisMiliana, Algeria.

In each one of six target areas, beside the local partners, staff of an EU Institution is acting according to the following scheme: 1) Morocco: INRA, AGENDA and University of Lleida; 2) Tunisia: INAT and CIHEAM-IAMB; 3) Egypt: WNRDP and The Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change (CMCC); 4) Jordan: NCARE and University of Nothingham, 5) Lebanon: LARI, Association of the Friends of Ibrahim AbdEl Al (AFIAL) and CRN, and 6) Algeria: Institute Technique des Grandes Cultures (ITGC),and University of Barcelona.
15 institutions are involved in the project with the participation of more than 200 experts, technicians and administrative staff. The project is coordinated by CIHEAM-IAMB principal scientific administrator Prof.Dr. Mladen Todorovic. In each of 6 target areas,  the activities are coordinated by the local staff elected among the research professors and high level professionals.
Note: The abbreviations mentioned above are described in partners section.

Photo 09. Group photo of the ACLIMAS project participants, Amman, Jordan. Photo 09. Group photo of the ACLIMAS project participants, Amman, Jordan.
Photo 8. Aclimas local partners during the sampling of canola at the implem Photo 8. Aclimas local partners during the sampling of canola at the implementation field, Settat, Morocco.

The main problems encountered during the project completion may be synthesized as: 1) willingness of local authorities to collaborate in the assessment of facilities, and to provide soil and climatic data for target areas but this problem has been overcame by the involvement of these authorities/institutions directly in the program; 2) adverse climatic conditions that could influence experimental works especially the lack of rainfall in some target areas; 3) lack of interest of local farmers to apply on their fields recommended genotypes and management practices and to follow the courses and participate in the field. However, the target areas are already affected by climate change and desertification and farmers urge to local authorities for the strategies that can improve yield and prevent land degradation. So, It was not difficult to convince farmers to be involved in the project activities.

In this project, the agricultural and farming systems are the primary subject of investigation. The environmental impact assessment will be performed as a part of sustainability analysis which is interpreted as an analytical approach towards the long-term perspectives of proposed farming systems, which are specifically chosen as alternatives to or integration of current practices, using a set of indicators including: 1) environmental indicators i.e. soil erosion to evaluate the changes in climate, rainfall, soil type and slope on the sustainability of agriculture 2) economic indicators: i.e. yields and farm income to evaluate economic changes on farmers led by changes in agriculture3) social indicators: i.e. food security to evaluate the impacts of agriculture on social issues like equity and poverty. To this aim, visits to the targets areas are ongoing to collect data for indicators and a final report on the socioeconomic and environmental assessment be prepared at the end of 2014.

ACLIMAS is a demonstration project funded within the SWIM program of the EC. SWIM is a Program launched by the EC to contribute to the extensive dissemination and effective implementation of sustainable water management policies and practices in the Southern Mediterranean Region. So, ACLIMAS project is a part of a larger integrated strategy involving 5 initiatives (Jordan River, ACLIMAS, WADIS-MAR, IMPROWARE and Sustain Water MED) and 10 Mediterranean countries aiming to face problems linking climate change with water scarcity, semi-arid and arid Mediterranean climate, pressure on water and land resources, desertification and land abandonment. ACLIMAS uses the results and experiences of previous projects in the target areas and represents a complementarily to the on-going initiatives. The transferability of the approach is guaranteed by the involvement of all relevant stakeholders (from farmers to extension service, research centres, regional and national governments) .

The results of the project are being disseminated in each of six target areas through a) short training courses organized at the demonstration sites for local stakeholders– considering both technical, gender, and participatory aspects of land and water management, b) a series of field (demonstration) days promoting the adaptation of agricultural systems to climate change, c) video materials made during the demonstration/implementation work and emitted by regional TV networks, d) thematic brochures distributed for local communities, e) two guidelines documents on Cereals and on Legumes growing in arid and semi-arid Mediterranean areas, f) seminars, and g) a dedicated web-page.

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Leaflets and documents published by the project Leaflets and documents published by the project