Blogpost: PREPSOIL Irrigated Agriculture Workshop

26 September 2023
Saskia Keesstra
Saskia Keesstra
Blogpost PREPSOIL Irrigated Agriculture Workshop

On January 14, 2023, a workshop was held in Ca Cuesa de Xàtiva, in the Province of Valencia, Spain. We brought together a broad range of stakeholders, organic farmers, farmers using agro-chemicals, nature lovers, citizens living close by, scientists, policy makers and people from the local and regional government. A total of 61 people participated in the workshop, of which 55 participated actively in the discussion tables. In four tables we soil needs in the region related to the main topic of the region: irrigated agriculture. We first discussed the past, how the region looked in the time of their childhood. Why did it change? And what changed? What was good? What was not good? For the soil, the biodiversity, but also the management, the economic situation and the social interactions in the villages. In the second part of the workshop we discussed the present. Also in this discussion we looked into the changes that happened and why they occurred. How is the irrigated agriculture now? How is the soil, biodiversity, the production, the water and also the joy in the work, the economic situation? How is it to be a farmer now? How is it to live in the region now?

In the last part of the workshop we discussed the future. We discussed how they think the situation will change and why. And what effects this will have on soils, water and the socio-economic situation. But also we asked them to think about how they would like their region to look like in the future. Their future vision. And what would be needed to reach that vision. What are the barriers they see.

Apart from the lively discussion the event generated a good atmosphere between the participants. It generated a network of contacts, a meeting and presentation space between the different farmers of the Costera region and neighboring regions.

It was a full day in which we have enjoyed the beautiful venue, which is a house originating from the 15th century in the middle of the ‘huertas’ (gardens) of Xativa. We had a wonderful bbq and ended with a concert of the famous Valencia singer Pep ‘Botifara’ Gimenez.