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Katerina Rovithi (Greece): Cameroon Experience

Participating in the 2nd transnational meeting of AGRO project in Buea – Cameroon (2-6 February 2016) was a valuable experience to me in several ways.

As an agronomist, I am being active in the Mediterranean region, where climate conditions are known to be particularly unique, due to the fact that many different climate factors interact in these areas – northern cold air currents, Sahara winds, even though Atlantic ocean’s currents. Through the last 5 years climate change is a fact in these climate-sensitive regions and concerns are raised in the professionals of the agricultural sector about the viability of traditional Mediterranean crops. We regard that unique Mediterranean crops will need time to adopt to the new climate conditions, which are unpredictable and changing really fast. On the other hand, the market is changing rapidly and demands accessibility in a wide variety of agricultural products in affordable prices.

 

The facts mentioned above interest me as an agronomist and before our AGRO project meeting in Buea I set as a goal to investigate on subtropical crops that have a potential of cultivation and adaptation in the Mediterranean climate conditions. Besides, in the region where I come from – Crete/Greece – farmers are already familiar with cultivation of tropical species like banana and avocado, showing very promising results until now. Through my research – which is still on progress – I have resulted that many subtropical crops could be introduced to the southern regions of Greece as an alternative choice for new farmers. The crops I examine with the highest potential for this cause are papaya, varieties of Citrus species and various ornamental plants.

AGRO meeting offered me the chance to expand my knowledge on tropical agriculture by experiencing field visits in local plantations and by collaborating with local farmers. Particularly, we focused on exchanging know-how, advising one another and building relationships that could effort both sides in the future. Presently, I have a plan to import seeds and scions with Cameroonian local farmers’ help in Greece and evaluate their potential of adaptability and productivity in my region. Moreover, Cameroonian farmers benefited from our collaboration, because as a professional agronomist I informed them on subjects regarding commercial promotion of their agricultural products, water management, cultivation techniques and pest management, in order for them to go one step further into the modernization of their agricultural means and techniques.
katerina rovithiAdditionally, as I am in the beginning of setting up my own agri-business, the workshops conducted by CCREAD stuff about entrepreneurship for young workers was really helpful for me, as I acquainted myself with business planning topics.

Overall, AGRO meeting in Buea was a huge opportunity for me to expand my knowledge as an agronomist and a scientist and to built a base for a transnational collaboration and cooperation with youth workers – like me.
Katerina Rovithi for Action Synergy (March 2016)

This project is co-funded by the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of the author only and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein

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