In the framework of its programme of activities for the first semester of 2016, at a project mid-term evaluation meeting with the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), the project implementing agency (Tunisian Olive Tree Institute) and the collaborating centres (the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Morocco (INRA), the Technical Institute for Fruit Tree and Vine Growing of Algeria (ITAF), the Horticulture Research Institute of Egypt and the National Office for Olive Oil of Tunisia), the IOC assessed the state of progress of its project to create pilot nurseries.
The main project objectives
- Give farmers greater access to native olive genotypes adapted to specific environmental conditions.
- Make farmers aware that healthy, authentic and high yielding plant material contributes to the sustainable development of the olive industry in the Mediterranean region.
- Increase the yield potential of olive orchards by providing topquality plants and widening the range of choice of plant material.
- Increase the olive growing income of rural households.
- Establishment of four modern nurseries, one in each participant country, to serve as centres of excellence.
- Production of 25,000 olive plants/year/collaborating centre for at least 340 farmers/year.
- Supply of top-quality plants compliant with phytosanitary rules and of a broader choice of varieties.
- Provide technical assistance and training for nurseries, farmers and outreach officers.
The meeting mainly centred on the evaluation of the effectiveness (results obtained) and efficiency (rational use of financial resources) of the project activities over the first two years. Another objective was to issue recommendations to improve activities, if necessary and if possible, over the remaining period.
The meeting participants outlined the state of progress of the project over its first two years, including information on the creation of a pilot nursery, the production of top-quality plants, and training and technology dissemination activities. Particular stress was placed on the importance of training, and those responsible for collaborating centres committed themselves to stepping up action in this area and continuing their activities in the upcoming months with a view to:
- Completing the installation of greenhouses and making them fully operational.
- Propagating the secondary varieties according to the recommendations set out in the IOC interactive guide on “Olive nursery production and plant production techniques” http://www.internationaloliveoil.org/projects/index.htm .
- Organising training activities in connection with “field days” focusing on high added value in terms of performance and the quality of the products of secondary varieties that are best adapted to certain environmental conditions (biotic and abiotic factors).