The countries of the Mediterranean basin face a number of similar problems in relation to agriculture, mainly as regards the use and management of natural resources, such as soil and water, and threats to the security and sustainability of agricultural production resulting from climate change. The vulnerability of the Mediterranean ecosystems and unsustainable farming systems have led to problems such as soil erosion and runoff, overexploitation of natural plant cover, loss of fertility of agricultural land, soil degradation, underground water overexploitation, contamination and food safety problems.
However, socio-economic contribution of agriculture and food sectors to economic growth, rural development and employment is very important all around the Mediterranean. The diversity in products and the traditional know-how in food production and processing are important assets that have led the Mediterranean region to be deemed for the high quality and diversity of its food. Nevertheless, traditional Mediterranean food chains are suffering difficulties to face increase in urban demand and changes in consumption and life styles. This induces also poor nutrition and significant health problems.
Development of sustainable agriculture and local food industries, which generate employment and added
value products, is a common objective for the Mediterranean countries.
The ERA-NET ARIMNet2 Project (Agricultural Research In the Mediterranean Network), funded by the 7th
Framework programme, European Commission, aims at coordinating National Agricultural Research Programmes to strengthen the capacities of its partners to address in a coordinated way the major challenges that the Mediterranean agriculture is facing.
While agriculture in the countries around the Mediterranean is facing common issues and challenges, Agricultural Research in the Mediterranean is scattered and requires a coordination effort to step up the cooperation and coordination of research activities carried out at national level by joining forces to promote innovative research and cooperation. It is the purpose and the ambition of the partners of the ARIMNet2 Project.