An EU-funded project on the professionalization of Palm Tree Climbers (PGP) in the framework of the Pilot Actions Programme for rural development and agriculture (PAP-ENPARD) was launched last December in Algeria.
The activities started with two preparatory meetings with the local actors (in January and February in Touggourt and Adrar), followed by a national launching workshop which was held in February in Algiers with several representatives of the Saharan agriculture of the regions of Ouargla, El Oued and Adrar (the pilot provinces selected for this project) as well as stakeholders representatives (ministry of agriculture, insurance companies).
The meeting was an opportunity to present the project and take stock of the possible synergies with other completed or ongoing programmes, of the resource people and the services that are worthwhile to associate to the project. The participants have also expressed their methodological recommendations based on their own experience.
The date industry is seriously threatened by the lack of qualified workers to treat the palm trees, which is the cornerstone of Saharan agriculture. This dangerous job, with no appropriate legal framework, equipped with archaic tools, almost excluded from professional training, doesn’t attract vocations.
Supported for two years (2018-2019), the PGP aims at:
– providing a proposal for a specific legal framework meant at palm tree climbers;
– establishing a training device that is adapted to the needs of the climbers;
– initiating a process of experimentation/validation of modern working tools by the users themselves;
– contributing in the economic and social structuration of the climbers while encouraging the creation of companies and socio-professional organisations.