TOTAL PROJECT COST – €607,731.27
- Organisation Applying for Funding: GOB Menorca
- Project Duration: 3 years – 2023 – 2025 IN PROGRESS
- Area of Interest: Land
- Other entities involved: Custodia Agraria is part of the Alliance for Mediterranean Natural and Culture (AMNC). The aim is to coordinate some actions with other member organisations of this alliance in order to increase the impact of the programme. In addition, GOB Menorca also collaborates with the AlVelAl association, mainly on issues related to the training of technical staff and farmers and livestock breeders.
Preserving, protecting and regenerating natural habitats.
Summary of the project
Custodia Agraria promotes a paradigm shift in the food production and consumption system in Menorca. The model it promotes is based on three values: health (healthy food for people and the environment), nature (with a production system that sees biodiversity and natural values as allies) and proximity (promoting the local productive network and short marketing chains).
In order to achieve this, the programme is very comprehensive and works around 5 pillars of action: agricultural resilience, environmental improvements, economic viability of the farms, growing impact of the programme and impact measurement.
- Land: Forest and woodland; Agricultural land and Scrub jungle.
- Soil Quality (including soil respiration, infiltration, bulk density, pH, nitrate and number of earthworms) and also organic matter and nutrients.
- Biodiversity levels measured through monitoring of bio-indicators.
- Calculating carbon sequestration through regenerative practices.
Social, Economic and Cultural Outcomes
- Supporting businesses and their employees to better preserve, protect and regenerate the natural world.
- Encouraging changes in public/consumer behaviour to better preserve, protect and regenerate the natural world.
- Encourage farmers and livestock farmers to manage their farms in a sustainable way.
- Encourage changes in consumer behaviour towards choosing local and sustainable products.
- Number of people making a living from sustainable agriculture
- Increased take up of regenerative/sustainable farming methods
- % of local produce produced sustainably
Photo Credits: GOB Menorca
Description of the project
The Farm Stewardship programme Custodia Agraria is based on a comprehensive approach to the agricultural and social reality of the island. The Custodia Agraria programme aims to respond to the needs of farmers and livestock farmers, as well as to involve society in the solution – both as consumers and as volunteers – and political agents, and to work on the replicability of the model in order to export it to other places. The programme is based on collaboration with the farms that join Custodia Agraria. These commit to implementing a series of good agricultural practices by signing an agreement, which is then supported by GOB in different ways. The main strategic lines of the programme are:
1) AGRICULTURAL RESILIENCE. Actions to improve soil fertility on these farms. This is essential to ensure the productivity of the farm and its economic viability:
GOB Menorca works on the diagnosis of the state of the soil and the identification of needs.
The farms are helped to better manage their water resources through the use of rainwater (rehabilitation of cisterns, installation of roof gutters…), the hydration of land (marking of infiltration ditches and other elements) and the control of extractions (installation of meters).
- The management changes are accompanied by training and advice.
2) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT. Actions to promote biodiversity and preserve the island’s mosaic landscape.
Technical and material support is offered for the natural control of pests, the promotion of the presence of pollinators and the creation of water points for wildlife.
Volunteer days are organised to carry out specific work that the farms need, and support is provided with materials and services for the removal of waste from the fields or the creation and maintenance of fig tree corrals and other ethnological elements.
3) ECONOMIC VIABILITY. Actions to ensure the viability of farms through the sale of their products.
GOB Menorca works on the visibility and promotion of both the products and the Agrarian Stewardship brand. On the one hand, producers who are members of the programme can benefit from the use of this brand on their products and are offered multiple commercial materials. On the other hand, GOB actively promotes its products through face-to-face events (e.g. excursions to the farms or tastings), presence in networks, producers’ catalogue, etc.
4) GROWING IMPACT. Actions to achieve a larger scale impact and to be able to replicate it in other places.
GOB Menorca continually works to expand the network of farms, as well as its long-term sustainability. Multiple social alliances are created: from social involvement through volunteering, to environmental education in schools or integration in higher level networks (at Balearic, Spanish or Mediterranean level).
GOB Menorca works on the legal framework that directly affects the farms and the rules of the food system through political advocacy. It also paves the way for exporting the project to other realities through dissemination in multiple forums and platforms and direct exchange with agents working in other territories.
5) MEASUREMENT. Actions aimed at measuring the impact of the results in order to be able to demonstrate the effect of the programme. It also contributes to the direct promotion of the products of these farms thanks to a better knowledge of the impact of the different types of production models.
GOB Menorca works on the calculation of carbon sequestration potential.
Monitoring of bio-indicators is carried out through citizen science.
An inventory is made of the natural values of each farm that joins the programme, as well as an annual survey on the economic satisfaction of the farms. In parallel, GOB Menorca works on measuring the sustainability of the production systems through, for example, the calculation of the ecological footprint of the products of these farms. All of this is accompanied, of course, by the promotion of these results.
Farms and products involved in the Custodia Agraria Farm Stewardship Programme