On the 30th of April the Portuguese Innovation Broker of the AFINET project visited agroforestry home gardens working with the Local Food Network of Mértola, by invitation of the Municipality.
Mértola Municipality has recently started an initiative to implement a Local Food Network based on agroforestry and syntrophic practices. This initiative is a partnership between the Municipality, Associação Terra Sintrópica, Associação de Empresários do Vale do Guadiana and Food Network Academy. Its purpose is to create a local network to produce and distribute vegetables and fruit, supplying school and home canteens.
Mértola Municipality invited research centres for a visit on April 30th: Instituto Superior de Agronomia/Centro de Estudos Florestais (CEF) represented by Joana Amaral Paulo (the Portuguese Innovation Broker of the AFINET project), Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (INIAV), and Faculdade de Ciências/ Centro de Ecologia, Evolução e Alterações Ambientais (cE3c). They visited two of the agroforestry home gardens.
During this visit it was also discussed forest management alternatives for the Mértola Forest Perimeter. The Municipality has offered all these areas (forest perimeter and agroforestry systems) to be used by the researchers as partnerships for master or doctoral thesis and experimental trials.