By Pommelien da Silva Cosme, Mediterranean Programme and Communications Coordinator
9 August 2019
During the last week of June, our field team organised a participatory evaluation of the challenges for agroecology in the rural communes of Imegdal and Aït M’hamed, as part of our project Enhancing the resilience of High Atlas agroecosystems in Morocco, funded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF). In collaboration with our partners Moroccan Biodiversity and Livelihoods Association (MBLA), Deafal and Rockin soils, we met with local farmers to identify challenges and needs of local farmers and to collect agronomic and social data to design a Farmer Field School programme.
In preparation of this evaluation week, our team carried out various focus groups with farmers in both communes to learn more about local agricultural activities. These focused on three main themes: soil fertilisation methods, water and irrigation systems and socio-economic aspects of local agriculture.
During the evaluation week, we visited various local smallholders and their agricultural plots where we interviewed them about local agricultural practices, crop production, soil quality, and more. “The farmers we met shared a lot of information around the issues they face concerning water, crops and livestock,” Global Diversity Foundation Field Agronomist Omar says. “Carrying out this evaluation has been essential to understand the agro-ecological challenges in each commune, from where we can develop trainings based on the farmer’s needs.”