Press release, April 21 2019, Meknes, Morocco
At the invitation of Mr Mohamed Sadiki, President of the CIHEAM Governing board and Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco, the CIHEAM participated in Morocco’s International Agriculture Show (SIAM) held in Meknes from April 16 to 21, 2019. This year, the Show focused on: “Agriculture, a Lever of Employment and the Future of the Rural World”
Every year, the SIAM welcomes more than a million visitors, almost 1,700 national and international exhibitors from more than 70 countries and several international delegations including officials and professionals from agricultural, agribusiness and related sectors.
An area in the “Teaching, Training and Research” section was dedicated to the CIHEAM, in which the training, research and cooperation activities of the Center were presented. During this presentation, the CIHEAM Delegation discussed mutual initiatives and potential areas for collaboration with Moroccan partners.
During the Show, a series of conferences, meetings and round tables were organised on topics related to the fields chosen for this edition. In this framework, the Doctoriales (or Doctoral days) of the Center of Doctoral Studies of the Agronomic and Veterinary Hassan II were held.
The Doctoriales are an annual event aimed at creating a space for exchange and dialogue between postgraduates, scientists and researchers on the one hand and professionals and socioeconomic actors on the other hand. This meeting provides postgraduates with the opportunity to explore their skills and assets of their educational programme.
This was unprecedented initiative in the framework of the SIAM is aimed at reminding the strategic role of research and innovation in agricultural and rural development, particularly in terms of modernisation, attractiveness, productivity and competitiveness.
The CIHEAM Secretary-General, Mr Plàcido Plaza, who inaugurated these days with Mr Mohamed Sadiki, presented the CIHEAM Doctoral Platform: a tool for mobility open to Mediterranean doctoral students created to strengthen the sharing of knowledge and competencies regarding food safety, climate change or the sustainable management of natural resources.
It was reminded that the doctoral platform had welcomed more than 300 doctoral students over ten years and had led to two major forums (MEDFORUM Montpellier 2017, MEDFORUM Bari 2018) organised in partnership with the United Nations “Food and Agriculture Organisation” (FAO), “Agreenium” (French Agronomic, Veterinary and Forest Institute), the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI-World Bank), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Italian Cooperation.
Giving priority to the last segment
Concluding on the importance of strengthening interactions between young researchers and agricultural actors, Plàcido Plaza announced that the activities of the CIHEAM Doctoral Platform will henceforth be devoted to increasingly connect studies and research to the job markets and to the professional opportunities that food and sustainable agricultural production systems represent. “Going from studies to jobs”, is essential to met the challenges of youth unemployment in the Mediterranean .
Youth empowerment, as a lever of agricultural and rural development, will therefore be the theme of the next ministerial meeting of the CIHEAM which will take place in Tunis in November 2019.