Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España (Spanish Co-ops) is one of the 4CE-MED project partners promoting the development of innovative, diversified and resilient Mediterranean farming systems that do not compete for land with the food chain in Spain, together with Camelina Company España and Iniciativas Innovadoras. As an example of such systems, camelina has been cultivated in Spain for years, a promising crop that could increase farmers’ incomes and improve soil and water conservation.
With the aim of promoting a participatory approach in Spain, the first meeting of the national 4CE-MED platform was organised in June 2020, with the participation of farmers, cooperatives, representatives of research centres, staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), as well as professionals with experience in camelina cultivation, genetic improvement and processing, in an attempt to involve members of the entire camelina value chain. Relevant conclusions were drawn from this meeting on the barriers to the implementation of camelina and conservation agriculture in Spain, as well as recommendations for the agronomic trials planned in our country, developed by Camelina Company España. The results from this first meeting, and from other similar ones held in the rest of the countries where 4CE-MED partners are present, will soon be published in the “Deliverables” section of the project website (D1.1).
In this regard, further meetings will be held in Spain and the rest of the 4CE-MED countries in 2021 to expand the platforms, collect new experiences and information, and follow up on the first adjustments of the field trials. Any organisation interested in joining their local platform can contact the 4CE-MED partners at any time.
Likewise, with the aim of raising awareness of the benefits of growing camelina and implementing conservation agriculture on their farms, Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España is working with the Alcamancha cooperative (where there are already previous experiences with camelina) to carry out this transfer and training work with their farmers. To this end, a series of actions are being designed for this purpose, including the cultivation of camelina by farmers from the cooperative, so that the rest of the members can learn about, observe and test the features of this crop in situ.