This activity was a sustainability initiative, which the company co-sponsored through its New Holland Agriculture brand together with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), The Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries and Tunisia’s Directorate General for Land Use Planning and Conservation (DG-ACTA).
The event was held at the Italian Ambassador to Tunisia’s Residence in Tunis where ambassador Lorenzo Fanara welcomed representatives from national and local government, program partners and the press, who came together to acknowledge the results of the program and address the future opportunities which have arisen as a direct consequence.
First established in 2015, the project focused on developing integrated water mobilization and irrigation systems in the country’s arid southwest region known as the Kebili Governorate. Kebili is the second largest of 24 governorates and counts some 250 small-scale rural farms.
The targets were aimed at improving food security, promoting fair and sufficient revenues for the concerned rural community, improving the resilience of rural farmers who face water scarcity in this arid climate and promoting sustainable ecosystems.
By the end of the project, the partners had contributed the following:
· Constructed dams for water and soil conservation, an electric charging station and a 50 square-meter premise to manager water activities;
· Purchased 1,000 different types of fruit trees to promote cultivation, 115 ewes for milk, 100 kilograms of fodder seeds, raw materials and equipment to produce artisanal products;
· Installed a compost heap allotment
New Holland Agriculture’s sponsorship contributed to the local building and repair of traditional water-collection systems, the training of local farmers on agricultural techniques, such as how to shepherd sheep and goats, and the building of orchards, wooded areas and vegetable gardens for families.
These combined efforts have reaped many positive results. The project has strengthened the capacity of these rural areas to adopt systems for water runoff and establish a network of communities that are now actively promoting sustainable agricultural practices in arid areas. These have paved the way for a long-term strategy for the adoption and prevalence of conservation agriculture and an investment plan to intensify the collection of rainwater.