The Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Division carries out education and training, applied research and cooperation, in line with the CIHEAM Strategic Agenda 2025.

The main objective is to contribute to the achievement of food and nutrition security in the Mediterranean area through the promotion of sustainable food systems, enhancement of the Mediterranean diet, reduction of food loss and waste, valorization of typical and traditional agrifood products to foster integrated rural and territorial development.

Education and training

The Division fosters synergies and complementarities between research, training, networking, technical assistance, partnership and cooperation activities in order to promote food and nutrition security in the Mediterranean countries. Training activities are carried out on-demand and in the framework of research and cooperation projects.

The objective of these capacity building and human capital empowerment activities is to understand support, and encourage policies and institutions for sustainable food consumption and production, promote inclusiveness and active community participation (especially that of women) in sustainable natural resource management, and facilitate networking mechanisms for fostering access to food.

The training sessions are addressed mainly to scholars and practitioners with working experience in research, extension, education, development projects related to agriculture, food and rural development.

Training activities are complemented by awareness-raising actions aimed to reverse the ongoing erosion of the Mediterranean diet heritage, in order to promote sustainability principles and values along the food chain,  add value to traditional and typical products as well as reduce food loss and waste.

Research and Cooperation

Research activities and cooperation projects focus on:

Mediterranean food systems’ sustainability, including:

  1. Sustainability of food systems in the Mediterranean, with special reference to the sustainability of diets, proposing the Mediterranean diet as a case study
  2. Reduction of food loss and waste
  3. Sharing knowledge, experience and best practices to help improve the sustainability of current food consumption patterns in the Mediterranean.

Enhancement of typical and traditional products by:

  1. Regulatory and institutional developments (legal framework, institutional environment, existing policies, significant experiences)
  2. Implementing activities and projects to enhance quality products (typical, traditional, etc.)
  3. Facilitating integration and dialogue between different food chain actors and rural communities so that typical and traditional products can function as a catalyst for development of rural areas.

Rural and local development activities related to:

  1. Technical assistance to promote sustainability through rural development programmes
  2. Promotion of initiatives targeting improvement of living conditions, social inclusion, poverty reduction, etc.

The cooperation activities address agro-ecosystems’ resilience, ecological processes’ exploitation, participation in research and extension and in decision-making processes, identification and scaling of innovation systems in the agrifood sector.

The department staff can provide training in its fields of expertise in the following languages: Arabic, French, English, Italian and Spanish.