Urgent migrations, agriculture and rural development can help!

The 11th meeting of agricultural ministries of the 13 member states of the ICHEAM (1) (International Centre of High Agronomical Mediterranean Studies) which took place in Tirana on the 22nd of September was on urgent migrations with a specific focus on food security and agricultural and rural development.

 The ministerial meetings of the CIHEAM brought together ministers, international organisations and concerned about exchanging on strategical Mediterranean questions. These meetings also contribute to strengthening multilateral cooperation for sustainable development in agriculture and fishing. This eleventh meeting endeavoured to identify the underlying causes of these migrations for which the state members of the CIHEAM have the means of developing beneficial solutions for all of the countries in the region.

 The effects of the refugee crisis, which are still difficult to fully underst and, must make institutional workers and their partners take an interest in the underlying causes of migrations and the solutions which exist. It is indeed an important time to examine the role of agriculture and rural development as a means of prevention and a resilience factor in the Mediterranean. A strategical development of rural areas and agriculture which integrates both climatic change, the scarcity of natural resources and youth employment seems necessary as they are major determining factors for stability in Mediterranean countries.

 Involved in the implementation of Sustainable Development Objectives (SDO) in the Mediterranean region, the CIHEAM has recently adopted a Strategical Agenda in view of 2025 which is based around 4 main points:

  • Fighting against all forms of waste (knowledge and know-how; natural and energy resources; food)
  • Strengthening sustainable agriculture and food security
  • Investing for youth and unstable areas
  • Anticipating risks and managing difficulties

To treat the underlying causes of urgent migrations and bet on agricultural, rural, food processing politics and favourable climates for more inclusive development in the Mediterranean, it is important to promote local and national strategies which respond to the needs of countries and territories. The institutional synergies will be more efficient if they double up as inter-sectorial synergies, as the migratory, agricultural and rural issues call for projects and strategies to be better integrated. The 11th Tirana ministerial and the 2025 strategical Agenda of the CIHEAM (CSA2025) and its associated action plan (CAPMED2025), presented at this ministerial, are heading this way.

(1) Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes