The countries of the Mediterranean basin face a number of similar problems in relation to agriculture.
In order to support research projects aimed at producing innovations that enhance the contribution of agricultural and food systems to social and economic development in a sustainable way, the ARIMNet2 consortium will soon launch a call dedicated to Young Researchers.
The vulnerability of Mediterranean ecosystems and unsustainable farming systems have led to problems such as soil erosion and runoff, overexploitation of natural plant cover, loss of fertility of agricultural land, soil degradation, underground water overexploitation, contamination and food safety problems.
However, the socio-economic contribution of agriculture and food sectors to economic growth, rural development and employment is very important all around the Mediterranean. The diversity of products and the traditional know-how in food production and processing are important assets that have led the Mediterranean region to be deemed for the high quality and diversity of its food. Nevertheless, traditional Mediterranean food chains are suffering difficulties to face the increase in urban demand and changes in consumption and life styles. This induces also poor nutrition and significant health problems.
The development of sustainable agriculture and local food industries, which generate employment and value-added products, is a common objective for the Mediterranean countries.
[Photo by rick manwaring | Flickr]