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International Agricultural Show 2008

Daily news from FARM’s stand at the 2008 Agricultural Show in Paris

- Tuesday, February 26
- Thursday, February 28

Tuesday, February 26

FARM’s day at the Agricultural Show was marked by its participation in the Tech for Food Forum (TFF), by the visit of France’s Agricultural Minister Michel Barnier, and by Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner, as well as by Jacques Chirac. The afternoon ended with a cocktail reception for all of FARM’s partners and their respective guests, for a total of a hundred individuals.

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Tech For Food

FARM’s participation in the Tech for Food Forum 2008 included two high points : the working session on Market Information Systems (MIS) and the workshop on technologies for water management.

The main topics of the discussion during the Market Information Systems session focused on partnerships, the information exchanged and services offered by MIS, dissemination strategies, and the adaptation of tools and methods to local specificities. The main conclusions were as follows :

  1. Technological and social appropriation of these systems is fundamental for MIS sustainability in the long run.
  2. Longterm use of MIS is predicated on three factors : the adaptation of technological tools ; the use of existing human networks, and skills development.
  3. Technologies need to be continually underlined as means for social inclusion.

During the TFF, Farm and its partners also presented the Morocco-based training project, "Mediterranean Irrigated Farm Network", with the support of the French Ministry for European and Foreign Affairs. First, Marcel Kuper, research scientist at CIRAD, and Hassane Kemmoun, consultant, described the techniques of drop-by-drop irrigation, which can bring about a steep drop in water use. Next, Abdelkrim Anbari, Miloud Aït Ouzroual, and Mohamed Mrioued, leaders of Moroccan agricultural professional organisations, gave their point of view on the implementation of this technique by irrigating farmers, based on a collective management of water resources. They underlined the usefulness of training sessions on this new technique.

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Visite J. Chirac

In addition, the FARM project "Water" was presented by Jacques Chirac, during his appearance at the FARM booth. In particular Hassane Kemmoun and Miloud Aït Ouzroual stressed the stakes involved for professional organizations of irrigating farmers. Bernard Bachelier took this occasion to point out that FARM’s actions in the area of water for agriculture were aimed in particular at small and medium sized farms which grow predominantly for local markets. On this same theme, Jacques Chirac emphasised the significance of the social stakes linked to water management in developing countries. Mr.Chirac engaged in a dialogue on cotton-related issues with François Traoré, and with Christophe Andréas, vanilla producer from Madagascar.

This was also the occasion for an exchange between FARM and its partners on one hand and Michel Barnier and Bernard Kouchner on the other, on the subject of agricultural development in West Africa and cotton production in particular.

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Visite M. Barnier et B. Kouchner

Thursday, February 28

FARM and its partners presented their projects concerning water at FARM’s booth at the Agricultural Show, in the presence of Erik Orsenna of the French Academy, and Vice-President of FARM.

First order of the event was a presentation of the RIM (Mediterranean Irrigated Farm Network) project in Morocco by the project’s partners, a project focused on water-saving irrigation techniques for small farms. In particular Abdelkrim Anbari, Miloud Aït Ouzroual, and Mohamed Mrioued, leaders of professional agricultural associations, gave their views on this modernizing technique.

Following this presentation, Erik Orsenna addressed the stakes involved in water management worldwide. His vision is based on four observations :

  1. Water-related problems are found everywhere, both in dry areas and in wet ones.
  2. The public sector still has a vital role to play in water management.
  3. The capacity to recuperate water and to avoid waste is fundamentally important.
  4. Coordination between local and global approaches is crucial.

Finally, FARM’s other partners presented their views on these topics. Speakers included Henri Tardieu, President of the French Association for Water, Irrigation and Drainage ; Elisabeth Jaskulke of the Suez Group ; Georges de Maupeou of the association Echanges Méditerranéens ; Serge Gay, President of the Chamber of Agriculture of the Département of Lot ; Yannick le Roux of the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry, and Gérard Matheron, Director General of CIRAD.

Publié le : 19 février 2009

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