The first meeting of 4ce-med local multi-stakeholder platform of Algeria was held on September 20 2020, at 2 pm in the ITMAS meeting room.
This first meeting has been scheduled for the beginning of September. Several individual phone calls with members were made in late August and early September to discuss about the 4CE-MED project, its objectives, Camelina cultivation and the constraints that limit wide adoption of conservation agriculture in Algeria. The majority of members preferred a physical meeting to discuss and exchange ideas. Moreover, due to restrictions on gatherings of people due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the physical meeting was delayed until the last week of September (20/09/2020).
The 4CE-MED Algerian stakeholder platform includes 14 members, including farmers (representing different regions of Setif from North to South), formation and technical institutes, Cooperative, farmer association representatives and university researchers. The platform will be open to new members in the future.
A presentation of the 4CE-MED project, its main objectives and a brief description of the project’s WPs and the various stages of implementation was made in Arabic to better communicate with farmers. Subsequently, information on the cultivation of Camelina concerning in particular its
biology, advantages and key characteristics. For Algeria like other North African countries, Camelina is a new crop for both farmers and researchers.
A debate has been opened between the participants to discuss and to identify the socio-economic and technical barriers and opportunities for the adoption of CA in Algeria. Participants agree that Conservation agriculture has emerged as an alternative to conventional agriculture, to guarantee the regularity of yields and to preserve water resources, protect soils against erosion and limit evapotranspiration in bioclimatic zones where rainfall is scarce and irregular. Although the region of Setif was a pioneer in the practice and the adoption of conservation agriculture in Algeria, the local adoption of conservation agriculture has emerged in 2002, CA is little widespread in the region.
The debate on CA adoption gave rise to the following various constraints:
- The high cost of inputs and equipment,
- Low farm economic sizes does not allow innovation integration (less than 10 ha in general, in rainfed region)
- The lack of effective extension,
- Lack of farmers’ associations,
- Competition with pastoralism,
- Weed management including the genus Bromus,
- The use of herbicides such as glyphosates and their impact on human health and environment,
- Some constraints of CA adoption are inherent in the functioning of farming systems, as the relations between crops and livestock. The main farming system in the region is cereal-livestock.
- Which alternative crop to replace fallow.
Participants’ opinion on the project.
The participants expressed interest in the 4CE-MED research project. As previously mentioned above, Camelina is a new crop for our country. In addition, oilseeds are not developed in Algeria. The participants do not have enough information about this culture and how to cultivate it. On the other hand, if this crop is successful in the region, it will be an opportunity to replace the fallow and maintain the soil covered. It will be an opportunity to diversify crop rotations.
Aspects relating to processing (oil production, Camelina cake, were not discussed in this meeting.
Given that Camelina is a melliferous species, participants consider this an opportunity for beekeepers to increase their productions.
Some questions about Camelina volunteers in subsequent crops? Is it easy to control?
What about the market for Camelina?
Participants focus on:
- Assistance to farmers to boost CA adoption
- Dissemination and communication to reach farmers.
At the end, the participants wished good success to the 4CE-MED project.
THanks to all of you for making part of 4CE-MED project.