LIVINGAGRO identifies innovation needs of agroforestry economic stakeholders in Italy, Greece, Jordan and Lebanon
Technical activities and main project outcomes, where are we now? An overview about the economic stakeholders baseline study by our Italian partner ATM
The study carried out by Partner 5 highlights that economic stakeholders operating in the Mediterranean agroforestry sector claim in a large part for the same needs, transversally, from olive to grazed woodlands farmers, attaining the most frequently reported issues to maintenance and/or improvement of soil fertility, reduced use of chemical products and reduction of production costs. Let's deepen the used methodology, purpose and main outcomes of the research.
Within the set of different baseline analysis to be performed in order to identify innovations for the Mediterranean agroforestry sector, ATM Consulting (LIVINGAGRO partner 5) successfully finalized the study of economic stakeholders for both Living Lab 1 (olive multifunctional systems) and Living Lab 2 (grazed woodlands) in the four project partner countries, namely Italy, Greece, Lebanon and Jordan. The analysis has been a critical preliminary step to enable a proper and exhaustive identification and profiling of all relevant stakeholders to take part or to contribute to the upcoming Living Labs (from now LLs). The categories of stakeholders which were considered are primary producers (farmers in general), food processors, intermediaries, distributors, seed and chemicals producers, trade associations and public authorities.
The purpose of the research in brief:
- Identify all relevant stakeholders for the two LIVINGAGRO LLs;
- Create a basis for stakeholder involvement within the two LLs;
- Create a basis for communication among relevant stakeholders at various levels;
- Set the scene for the implementation of virtuous circles with positive economic dynamics in the medium to long-term.
Questionnaires and interviews have to this end been the tools that allowed ATM Consulting to establish a communication channel with the stakeholders and gather the relevant data from them by asking targeted questions and holding open discussions on themes addressed by the project.
The main outcomes
Main results on the economic stakeholder analysis for Living Lab 1 on olive multifunctional systems, overview per country:
Most of the farms indicated the maintenance and / or improvement of soil fertility (29%) and the protection of biodiversity (28%) as the most important aspects for their business. There are two other aspects, the better use of water resources (17%) and protection from soil erosion (14%) which were also considered of some importance. Most of the responses provided by farms focus on innovations regarding the improvement of pruning operations (15%) and working conditions (13%).
The most important aspects for the farm that were indicated in the responses were the maintenance and / or improvement of soil fertility (29%) and the lower use of chemical products (23.4%). In general, the issues related to the use of plant protection products are particularly felt: in fact, in addition to their lesser use, the need for rationalization and improvement of phytosanitary treatments appeared to be important (16.1%). Most of the answers given by farms focus on improving the quality of their product (23.8% of the answers). Another very important aspect is linked to the improvement of the phytosanitary aspects of the crop (16.9% of the answers).
As for the aspects that Lebanese farmers indicate as particularly relevant to their business, the maintenance and / or improvement of soil fertility is indicated in 35% of the answers. The second most important aspect is the limited use of chemical products (28% of the answers) which is strictly connected to the rationalization and improvement of phytosanitary treatments (13% of the answers). In 24% of cases, answers focus on improving the phytosanitary aspects of the crop, followed by the request for innovation relating to the improvement of pruning operations (18% of the answers) and the improvement of working conditions. (16%).
For the Jordanian olive farms that participated in the survey, the aspect deemed most relevant to their activity is the maintenance and / or improvement of soil fertility, followed by the protection and best use of water resources and by the less use of chemicals. The prevailing interest mainly concerns economic objectives, aimed at increasing farm income. The farms believe they can achieve these goals through innovations aimed at increasing the production yields of olive trees and, in general, agricultural production and the containment of production costs.
Main results on the economic stakeholder analysis for Living Lab 2 on grazed woodlands, overview per country:
The most important aspects indicated by the farms point mainly to the problems connected to the fertility of the soils (37% of the answers), of particular relevance is also the safeguarding of biodiversity (23% of the answers), the safeguarding of land from erosion (15%) and aspects related to the best use of water resources (15%). While most of the answers focus on innovations concerning the reduction of production costs (24%), two other important objectives are the development of new products (17%) and the improvement of working conditions (16%).
The aspects most often highlighted by the companies were the maintenance and / or improvement of soil fertility (29%) and the lesser use of chemical products (29%). Most of the answers given by companies focus on decreasing production costs (27% of the answers). The increase in product quality is indicated in 17% of cases.
As for the aspects that Lebanese farmers indicate as particularly relevant to their business, the maintenance and / or improvement of soil fertility is indicated in 35% of the answers. The second most important aspect is the reduced use of chemical products (28% of the answers) which is strictly connected to the rationalization and improvement of phytosanitary treatments (13% of the answers). Most of the answers focus on innovations regarding the reduction of production costs (35%), two other important objectives indicated are: the quantitative increase of production (18%) and the improvement of working conditions (15%).
No questionnaires were completed in Jordan. Agroforestry is not a common practice in this country, where natural forests are protected and under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment in which animal grazing is not allowed: as such Jordan does not have grazed woodlands. Within LIVINGAGRO project, the consortium will in this case work for establishing new forests to introduce the grazed woodlands system or to re-habitat the existed forests and pasture rang lands by introducing new plants suitable for this purpose.
The full report will be available soon on the dedicated project website section "Library / Documents".