En el marco Proyecto Europeo JOIN - Transnational Network of Young Women for a Ecological Just and Social Transition, el Servicio de Juventud del Ayuntamiento de Murcia organizó una visita para que las jóvenes que participan en el proyecto JOIN conocieran mejor las explotaciones agrícolas del Campo de Cartagena, sus prácticas agrícolas y los retos a los que se enfrentan, especialmente teniendo en cuenta las recientes medidas de protección medioambiental para proteger el Mar Menor.
Las granjas ofrecen una valiosa oportunidad para aprender sobre agricultura, prácticas agrícolas y de dónde proceden nuestros alimentos. Muchas personas, especialmente las de zonas urbanas, están desconectadas del proceso agrícola. Visitar las granjas puede ayudar a salvar esa distancia y aumentar la concienciación sobre la producción de alimentos, la sostenibilidad y las cuestiones medioambientales relacionadas con la agricultura. En general, las visitas a granjas ofrecen a la gente la oportunidad de conectar con sus alimentos, el medio ambiente y las personas que los producen. Puede fomentar un aprecio más profundo por la agricultura, la sostenibilidad y la interdependencia entre los seres humanos y la naturaleza.
Treinta mujeres jóvenes participaron en una excursión educativa al Campo de Cartagena, Murcia. Guiadas por un experto agrícola, la jornada se dedicó a conocer los acuciantes problemas a los que se enfrentan los agricultores de la región y a elaborar recomendaciones políticas para hacer frente a estos retos.
EXTENDED VERSION IN ENGLISH
Farms provide a valuable opportunity to learn about agriculture, farming practices, and where our food comes from. Many people, especially those from urban areas, are disconnected from the agricultural process. Visiting farms can help bridge that gap and increase awareness about food production, sustainability, and environmental issues related to farming. Overall, visiting farms provides an opportunity for people to connect with their food, the environment, and the people who produce it. It can foster a deeper appreciation for agriculture, sustainability, and the interdependence between humans and nature.
It is in this context that the Murcia Local Council organised a visit for the young women participating in the JOIN project to learn more about farms in Campo de Cartagena, their farming practices and the challenges they face, especially given recent environmental protection measures to protect the Mar Menor.
Thirty young women participated in an educational field trip to Campo de Cartagena, Murcia. Guided by an agricultural expert, the day was dedicated to understanding the pressing issues faced by farmers in the region and developing policy recommendations to address these challenges.
Activities and Highlights:
• Visit to a local farm: The group visited a local farm. This was an opportunity to see firsthand how farming is done in the region, engage with the farmers and learn about their daily routines and challenges. The group took a tour of the crops grown in the area such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. They learnt about the specific crops that thrive in the region and the techniques used for cultivation as well as the water-saving techniques that farmers employ to deal with water scarcity.
• Discussion with local farmers: This visit prompted a roundtable discussion that included a Q&A session with local farmers. This platform was an opportunity for young women to ask questions about the challenges farmers face such as climate change, newly implemented environmental protection measures for Mar Menor, and market fluctuations.
• Meet with environmental experts: Together with experts in the field of agriculture, climate, and environmental science, the group discussed the unique challenges facing farmers in Campo de Cartagena. Together, we took a guided nature walk in the surrounding areas to observe the local flora and fauna. Discuss the impact of farming practices on biodiversity.
• Policy development: Young women collectively drafted a set of policy recommendations to address challenges facing farmers in Campo de Cartagena.
Farmers in Campo de Cartagena face various challenges, including water scarcity, climate change, market fluctuations, and environmental sustainability. To address these challenges and support the agricultural sector in the region, the group of young women participating in the event indicated some policy recommendations:
1. Water management and conservation: Implement water management policies that encourage efficient irrigation methods, such as drip irrigation, and promote the use of recycled and treated water for agriculture. Invest in infrastructure for water storage and distribution to ensure a consistent water supply for farmers during dry periods.
2. Climate resilience: Develop a climate adaptation strategy that provides farmers with information, resources, and incentives to adapt to changing climate conditions, such as drought-resistant crop varieties and climate-smart farming techniques.
3. Crop diversification: Encourage farmers to diversify their crops to reduce dependence on a single crop and mitigate risks associated with market fluctuations and pests.
4. Research and extension services: Invest in agricultural research and extension services to provide farmers with the latest knowledge, technology, and best practices for sustainable farming.
5. Support for sustainable agriculture: Promote organic farming and sustainable agriculture practices through financial incentives, subsidies, and technical assistance to reduce the environmental impact of farming.
6. Market access and fair pricing: Develop policies to strengthen farmers' bargaining power in negotiations with agribusinesses and retailers, ensuring they receive fair prices for their products.
7. Crop insurance and risk management: Establish crop insurance programs to help farmers mitigate the financial risks associated with extreme weather events, crop failures, and market fluctuations.
8. Environmental conservation: Implement policies to protect and restore the natural ecosystems in the region, including wetlands and biodiversity hotspots, to support long-term agricultural sustainability.
9. Training and education: Invest in agricultural education and training programs to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate modern challenges and adopt sustainable practices.
10. Public awareness and advocacy: Raise public awareness about the importance of supporting local agriculture and sustainable farming practices, encouraging consumers to make informed choices.
The opinions expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.