The project was approved in October 2012. The total project cost is USD 1,700,000 of which USD 900,000 is requested from CFC as a grant, and USD 800,000 shall be equally provided as a counterpart contribution in kind by the four selected partner countries. The Project will be implemented by the Institut de l’Olivier (IO) in Sfax, Tunisia for a four year period. The project will be supervised by the International Olive Oil Council (IOC). The project is the second phase of the successfully completed project on “Conservation, Characterization, Collection and Utilization of Genetic Resources in Olive”, which had enabled the characterization and conservation of 310 local olive varieties specific to the climatic and environmental conditions of the Mediterranean Basin. The current project seeks to sustainably develop the olive sector in the Mediterranean Basin

This CFC project will be implemented in four Mediterranean olive-growing countries, namely, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia and the main objective is to increase the productivity and quality of the olive crop, adding value to the commodity and raise the earnings of the olive farmers. There are four specific project outputs: a) establishing a pilot nursery centre in each selected country; b) demonstrating modern methods for the production of certified quality olive plants; c) pilot production of a significant number of top-quality olive plants and disseminating and promoting the use of local genetic material; d) training and technology dissemination in improved olive orchard management.

Each pilot nursery centre to be developed will have a minimum production capacity of 25,000 olive plants per year. The pilot nursery will serve as a centre of excellence for the demonstration of modern propagation techniques and updated technologies in nursery based plant production. High quality, high yielding and pest free olive plants of selected local varieties adapted to specific environments, climates and soil proprieties and complying with optimal phyto-sanitary standards, will be propagated and distributed to farmers. This project enables farmers to respond to the market trend of worldwide increasing olive oil demand. This project and other similar ventures pave the way for a further expansion of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean basin.

Project benefits will be derived from the increased value (volume and quality) of olive production and increased skills of farmers and nursery technicians in the four countries. The establishment of pilot nurseries will promote best practices and technologies to other existing nurseries and create a multiplier effect in terms of number of beneficiary farmers and nursery technicians.

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