AGRILINK: HCC la cea de a doua întâlnire a proiectului, Vila Real

During the week of May 14th to 16th, Highclere Consulting organized a meeting with the coordinators of the WP6 ‘Enabling Conditions for Smallholder Farmers’ part of the SALSA project. The meeting, held in Rome and hosted by our partner Coldiretti, gathered 17 partners working both in European and African regions.

The discussions on Food and Nutritional Security came at an important moment for small-farmers. Given the 2020 agenda reforms for the Common Agricultural Policy, the EIP-AGRI, as well as the EU-Africa dialogue, we discussed how to maximize the policy impacts of our SALSA findings. Building on the evidence built throughout the project on 30 key regions across both Europe and Asia, our WP6 work will focus on making our data relevant to policy-makers through policy briefs and other communication materials. During the meeting, we tested out the SWOT methodologies (Strength-Weaknesses-Opportunity-Strengths) we will be using to understand farmers’ needs in order to maintain and enhance their contribution to Food and Nutritional Security. These findings will be further integrated with the tool we will be developing for policy-makers. We hope this will help them to better tailor their approach to the evidence-based needs and opportunities brought by the farmers in their region.

Many European and African countries are facing big challenges over the next 20 years, with climate change, rural depopulation and nutritional issues having to do with both over-nutrition and under-nutrition affecting an ever-growing share of the population. Regardless of continent or conext, all partners sitting around the table agreed that investing in young farmers will be a crucial part of maintaining FNS over the coming decades.

Besides all the theoretical issues discussed, the farmer markets organized by Coldiretti and Campagnia Amiga showed the importance of maintaining these nodes in local food system in order to assure the access of urban dwellers to high quality produce. SALSA participants also learned a lot about the role of Campagnia Amica in maintaining the quality of the produce on the market, in educating farmers about marketing and about how to nurture their relationship to consumers through farm visits.

The SALSA WP6 team is particularly grateful for the warm welcome we received from our partners at FAO, and especially the Strategic Priority 1 team who met with us to discuss potential synergies.

Nevertheless, the meeting in Rome is only the beginning of a two-year process of discussing the appropriate policy interventions and SALSA findings dissemination moments from regional to macro-regional level. Over the coming months we will therefore continue our mission of establishing synergies with other organizations who would be interested in opening up the discussions together with us on the local contribution of small farmers to Food and Nutritional Security.