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Organic Ecosystem project promotes agro-food alliances in Mediterranean region

By JT - Jun 08,2020 - Last updated at Jun 08,2020

The Organic Ecosystem project aims to improve the organic agro-food sector and its business system by creating new job opportunities while introducing innovative, healthier and more sustainable products to the market (Photo courtesy of ENI CBC Med website)

AMMAN — The EU-funded Organic Ecosystem project aims to boost a cross-border network in the Mediterranean Sea Basin for stakeholders in the organic agro-food sector interested in converting to organic farming or enlarging their businesses across the region. It involves seven partners from six different countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Italy, Tunisia, Greece and Spain.

The project expects to establish an organic cross-border network for cooperation, dialogue and knowledge transfer among stakeholders in the organic sector, as well as a cross-border lab to facilitate connections among organic producers, researchers, angel investors, public authorities and other stakeholders, according to a statement shared with The Jordan Times.

Other expected project achievements are the participation of 150 micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in local meetings and 40 days of training to provide MSMEs with tools and methods aimed at boosting organic production, processing and marketing. Another 25 organic MSMEs — five per country — will receive consultancy services to facilitate their entry in innovative organic value chains and participation in international agro-food fairs.

The Organic Ecosystem project aims to improve the sector and its business system by creating new job opportunities while introducing innovative, healthier and more sustainable products to  the market, as well as facilitating the shift into organic agriculture and the commercialisation of these products across the region and in new markets, the statement noted.

Mediterranean countries face common challenges in this field given a scarcity of support policies from national and local governments, low innovation capacities, limited knowledge of sustainable farming practices and a weak value chain where SMEs operate in a disaggregated way, the statement read.

The project is being funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Med programme, the largest cross-border cooperation initiative implemented in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Instrument.

The project has a duration of three years, starting on December 25, 2019 and ending on December 24, 2022.

The Organic Ecosystem kick-off meeting was scheduled to be held on June 3 online due to the health crisis outbreak. The e-meeting aimed to strengthen partnerships, discuss the working approaches to new scenarios and work closely towards the achievement of the project’s objectives, according to the statement.

 

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