Strengthening the agricultural and rural innovation systems in oases and arid regions of the Maghreb

Oases and arid regions of the Maghreb are facing major social changes, e.g., the increase in mobilities. These changes concern also the agricultural sector, as capital-intensive forms of agriculture develop alongside more traditional ones. These changes are source of development opportunities, but also of risks in terms of the sustainability of such development, for instance the non-sustainable use of soils and water, the decrease of biodiversity, and increased social inequalities.

Innovations have been experimented in several places in these oases and arid regions, or in similar contexts. These innovations can, under certain conditions, contribute to more sustainable development pathways, in particular thanks to reinforcing the resilience of local populations to global changes. These innovations are related among others to:

  • water use and management (e.g., groundwater recharge, reuse of treated waste water, drip irrigation)
  • farming practices (e.g., agro-ecology or organic practices), value chains (e.g., certification)
  • new mode of organisation of territories (e.g., observatories of territorial dynamics, farmer organisations)

The MASSIRE project (2019-juin 2024) aims to strengthen the capacities of actors in oases and arid regions of the Maghreb to develop and implement innovations enabling a sustainable development of these regions. It will:

  • Identify, characterise and test technical and institutional innovations and innovative practices related to water governance, farming systems and rural development ;
  • Strengthen actors’ capacities and exchange networks on these innovations.

The Massire project is implemented thanks to funding from IFAD and contributions from partners of the project.