Approval of the action plan to preserve and promote local varieties in the Balearic Islands, worth 3 million euros

Mar 17, 2022 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Balearic Islands Local Varieties Commission, made up of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the island councils, representatives of organisations working with local varieties, agricultural organisations and the UIB, has approved an action plan for cultivated biodiversity worth 3,087,000 euros. This is a set of measures to be developed until 2027 with the aim of promoting and fostering local varieties in the Balearic Islands. Modern agricultural models have led, among other consequences, to the simplification of agrosystems and a reduction in biodiversity, both in the agricultural and wild environment. Nevertheless, the Balearic Islands enjoy rich agricultural biodiversity that must be preserved.

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According to the president of the commission, the director-general of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, Fernando Fernández, “the Balearic Islands, due to their island nature, the diversity of climates and soils, and the valuable peasant culture that is still deeply rooted, have generated a wide range of local varieties, with the conservation of both seeds and propagation material, which we must preserve and expand because they will also help us to mitigate the effects of climate change, due to the resilience they present”.

The plan includes actions that are already underway by entities working with local varieties, such as IRFAP-SEMILLA and LEADER groups. It is divided into 4 main axes, such as the recovery, description and conservation of local varieties; marketing; promotion, dissemination and sustainable use; and research, innovation and transfer of local varieties.

With regard to the recovery axis, it envisages actions for prospecting, regeneration and multiplication of plant genetic resources, as well as making an inventory of the agricultural biodiversity of each island; describing local varieties and making information from the existing germplasm banks on the islands available to the public.

With regard to marketing, the plan envisages registering varieties in the Register of Varieties and evaluating the marketing of plant material and end products. The axis that refers to promotion and dissemination foresees the dissemination of varieties within the agri-food sector with the creation of a map of projects by the different actors involved, promotional campaigns and the creation of a different label to identify local varieties. Also, improvements and new lines of aid to promote them and create a network of farmers who are multipliers and conservers of local varieties.

Finally, the plan includes a research axis to encourage research and development in local varieties carried out by universities, associations, foundations and centres to promote research projects with the integration of farmers and organisations; and R+D transfer. Also, the incorporation of aspects of cultivated biodiversity in both formal and informal training.