Symposium objectives

Dry regions are known to be the most impacted by the effects of climate change and socio-economic uncertainties. Various international initiatives have more than ever incited the governments of these countries (notably those of the Middle East and Northern Africa) to innovate and develop adaptation strategies for their agri-food systems. This implies to improve farmland fertility using agro-ecological practices, reduce CO2 emissions and sustainably protect the means of subsistence of farm households. Protection of natural resources from the effects of climate change and of a rapidly growing population will also be key, in particular water, soils and pollinators. This also implies to strengthen the innovation systems in order to sustain a transition towards a nutrition sensitive agriculture. There are many trade-offs to document but also many synergies to implement, provided an integrated (multiscale and multicriteria) approach is implemented.

In this context the CIHEAM-IAMM, ICARDA and IRESA-Tunisia have joined their efforts to organize the 7th Farming System Design Symposium in March 22-24, 2021 in Tunis.

This symposium aims to revisit findings, debates and initiatives for dryland agri-food systems, using as an entry point of integration (down to the field and up to landscape, market and ecosystems) the farm household and its role in sustainable food production within an uncertain climatic and socio-economic context. After the 6th FSD symposium in Montevideo, Uruguay (August 18-21, 2019) on “Agricultural systems design sustained by nature” the 7th symposium in Tunisia will focus on "Designing Climate Smart Agricultural Systems for a Sustainable Transition in the Agri-food Systems of the Dry Areas".

Beyond this focus, the symposium is also open to other subjects if they can contribute to the FSD informal interdisciplinary scientific community of practice to promote research and capacity building on farming systems design.

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