(Photo credit: Kostis Pigounakis)
On 27 July 2021, the first kick-off meeting of the Greek regional Multi-Actor Platform (MAP) was held virtually in the project’s Reference Region of Crete.
The aim of the meeting was to help participants to gain a common understanding of the project’ objectives, to get to know each other and to exchange knowledge and experience on the carob value chain.
The meeting was attended by, among others, carob producers, researchers, public agencies and local agricultural businesses actors. The meeting consisted of three parts: 1. An ice-breaking activity in which members of MAP talked about their engagement with carob and the importance of this value chain to them, both on a personal and community level; 2. Presentation of the project, including: partners, goals, objectives, actions; and 3. MAP’ members reflect on concerns and needs and future actions.
Meeting participants discussed the importance of the carob value chain for the sustainability of the semi-mountainous area of Crete Central Rethymno. They reflected on the cultural value and the historical context of carob production, its biophysical properties and some major problems in the production area.
Carob trees are very well adapted to the arid climate of this region. They are a part of the silvo-pastoral land use system, important for their sustainability and the improvement of soil health.
Participants were very interested to address pressing issues such as the possible causes of the dramatic decline in carob production this past year, the lack of know-how in cultivating carob trees from sporophytes and the identification of diseases that prevent carob pods from growing.
In addition, most of the MAP’ participants were keen to share their knowledge, to actively participate at different levels of the MOVING Community of Practice and and to cooperate to improve the value chain.
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