Title of Project: Adapting agriculture in Languedoc Roussillon through the Regional Project for Sustainable Agriculture in Languedoc Roussillon
City, Country: Languedoc Roussillon , France
French partner submitting the project description: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Project Owner: the Regional Prefecture of Languedoc Roussillon
French partners: the Languedoc- Roussillon Region and its water and agriculture stakeholders
Financiers/ Donors: French State
Dates of project: since 2012
A few words on the project…
Regional Projects for Sustainable Agriculture (PRADs) aim to establish the main guidelines for the application of national agricultural policy at regional level, taking into account regional specificities and any economic, social and environmental issues.
The PRAD for Languedoc Roussillon, approved in March 2012, highlights the specificity of the Mediterranean climate which warrants action in the field of water resource management, among other things to sustain the agricultural potential of the region.
Background or General project description
The Prefect of the Languedoc Roussillon region is responsible for applying national and European policies within the region. He is at the head of the decentralized services of the state at the regional level. Therefore he is responsible for the implentation of the Regional Projects for Sustainable Agriculture for Languedoc-Roussillon (PRAD-Languedoc-Roussillon).
The region is severly hit by The document notes, in particular, that over the last thirty years, in summer, the average temperature of Montpellier has risen by 2.3°C - the region is now a "semi-arid" zone - and that lowland evapotranspiration has increased by 20% to 30% to 240 mm, equivalent to an 11% decline in agricultural production.
The PRAD plan comprises five strategic focuses:
1) Supporting a dynamic agricultural sector that attracts young people and that is competitive and respectful of the environment
2) Building on the extraordinary agronomics research and development potential of the region to prepare the agriculture of the future today
3) Conserving agricultural land to ensure well maintained and lively areas
4) Ensuring high quality food through recognised local produce guaranteeing consumers’ confidence in producers
5) Ensuring readily available water resources for agriculture, preserving water quality and anticipating climate change
In particular, the plan highlights the specificity of the Mediterranean climate which warrants the storage of excess winter rainfall for agricultural uses in spring. Indeed, climate change has significantly increased the need for such carry-over of resources.
As part of the strategic focuses for successful adaptation, the PRAD gives priority to integrating the aridity index in the natural handicaps zoning criteria - in particular by identifying disadvantaged areas in danger of abandonment - and to supporting efforts to adapt plant material and make water resources readily available. In addition to promoting water-efficient farming practices, this means supplementing water supply and 50 reservoirs per year, through the realization of the Aqua Domitia project, which involves the transfer of water from the Rhône.
Strengths of project
• The project vision takes into account the specificities of the area and the inter-related challenges of food and water security and climate change.
• Its actions seek to move towards sustainable management of water resources by addressing supply and demand issues.