Successful kick-off for InnovAgroWoMed project - From discussions to the field: the impact of COVID-19 on women in the agri-food sector


The InnovAgroWoMed project was officially launched during its kick-off webinar held on June 16th in the presence of more than 120 participants for about 3 hours.

The speakers of this kick-off were of different profiles and expertise, all academic, professional and institutional stakeholders in the agri-food sector, representatives of the project implementing partners (UTV, CAWTAR, CESIE, JOVESOLIDES, ASSALA) and of the ENI CBC Med Program, as well as representatives of related projects.

As soon as the opening session was over, two sessions were on the agenda of this kick-off meeting which was on " Disruptions in the agri-food sector: Sustainable scenarios after Covid-19 in the Mediterranean Region: Women's Empowerment & Employability".

The first session focused on the impact of lockdown -declared by most of the Mediterranean countries in response to the spread of COVID-19- on the agri-food sector. Various questions and reflections were raised on this subject, including "post-covid-19 challenges in the sector", "alternatives and possible solutions for cooperatives of women working in the sector and who have been affected by the pandemic", "measures that will need to be taken to optimize the working conditions of women in the agri-food sector after covid-19", and "the importance of social innovation" in this sector.

In order to get closer to the field and to take a more participatory approach, the project consortium knocked on the doors of potential beneficiaries right from the kick-off, as this first panel was hosting testimonials directly from two women working in the sector. These two women were pleasant to share their experiences in the agri-food sector, the successes they may have deserved and the obstacles they had to face, especially during the lockdown.

As for the second session, it was devoted to the presentation of the InnovAgroWoMed project, its approach, its activities, the model it aims to set up and the outcomes it has fixed for its three-year implementation period.

It was also an opportunity to establish direct connections with related projects and initiatives, such as Helios, MEDStarts, MedTOWN, BESTMEDGRAPE, Startup Europe Mediterranean-SEMED and to open possibilities for collaboration.

The participants showed great interest for the kick-off meeting, which they considered "enriching and promising", and expressed their high esteem for the InnovAgroWoMed project.  The media were also quite present despite the constraints of the (online) format and covered the event in the four partner countries (Italy, Tunisia, Spain, Palestine).