The EU-financed Crop Husbandry Project, implemented between October 2008 and December 2014, aimed at advising and training farmers to increase sector competitiveness:
- improving good agricultural practices and farm management practices (including accounting),
- improving crop breeding practices and irrigation efficiency,
- establishing a number of demonstration fields, and
- assisting the association of farmers in cooperatives and producer groups.
Project activities included support to increasing irrigation efficiency, introducing crop diversification to consume less water and be more adaptable to water quality, increase the utilisation of recycled water from water treatment plants and deliver trainings on the development of automatic irrigation systems.
In relation to new crops and varieties the project has supported testing of asparagus, palm dates, olive, grape, guava and pomegranate, focusing on water quantity and quality aspects, including increased resistance to irrigation water high salinity levels.
More than 50 farmers have participated in citrus sector support activities related to pests and diseases, citrus pruning as well as a citrus field day, and harvesting platform and edges pruner demonstrations. Concerning the olive sector more than 750 olive growers and agronomists have participated in trainings, workshops and field visits on olive pruning, harvesting and irrigation demonstrations.
More than 220 farmers and agriculture experts have attended farm management bookkeeping training. Support has also been provided to agriculture research and development centres through the procurement of irrigation equipment, a nursery greenhouse, small agriculture machinery and also the supply of plants and seeds for trials.