Background

Most fruit and nut trees in temperate climate zones enter a dormant phase in the winter. They require a cold stimulus (winter chill) to bloom and set fruit again in the spring. Should winter temperatures remain too high, and winter chill requirements are not fulfilled, fruit and nut trees can develop physiological disorders. Ultimately, they may fail to produce crop yield of satisfactory quality or quantity.

In recent years, protracted bloom and crop failures have been seen in several growing regions of fruit and nut trees of the world , including Tunisia and Chile. While in Tunisia negligible yields were recorded for many tree crop species in 2001, 2007 and 2016, Chile had significant sweet cherry yield losses in 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015.

PASIT focuses on food stability issues and sustainable agriculture production. Specifically, the project addresses current and potential climate change impacts on fruit and nut growing regions in Tunisia and Chile.

Objectives

PASIT aims to

  • enhance socio-economic stability and growth in climate change affected farming regions by making long- term agricultural (food) planning more precise, predictable, sustainable and transparent
  • empower farming communities, governments, industry and other actors in the agricultural value chain to make appropriate climate change driven decisions by providing a comprehensive insight into farmers socio- economic conditions and planned adaptive strategies
  • improve fruit and nut tree farmers’ resilience to current and future climate change impacts by developing climate smart solutions and best practices with a positive socioeconomic impact

Approach

PASIT integrates phenological dormancy research and modeling of fruit and nut tree development with comprehensive socio-economic and behavioral data collection and analysis. With this methodology PASIT pursues an interdisciplinary approach: it combines basic with applied research, natural with social science – and it brings its’ research findings directly into practice, both in Tunisia and in Chile.

PASIT

  • investigates current and potential climate change impacts on the cultivation and yield of cherries, peaches and almonds
  • surveys farming communities exposed to and not exposed to climate change impacts
  • challenges farmers with possible future climate change scenarios and evaluates their responses
  • integrates the new project knowledge, gained through intensive dialogue with experts and communities of practice, into the development of niche specific solutions and best-practice recommendations
  • shares the new project knowledge, possible solutions and best practice recommendations with relevant stakeholders

 

 

Deliverables

  • communities of practice whose members partake in project activities and benefit from project results in a variety of ways
  • a new process-based probabilistic bloom prediction modelling tool in a web-based and user friendly format, allowing farmers and other stakeholders in the farming sector to calculate chill metrics and make bloom predictions for fruit and nut trees
  • a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of biophysical, demographic and socio-economic conditions in selected farming regions and communities differing in geography and climatic threat
  • a targeted assessment of current and planned adaptive strategies of 800 selected farmers in Chile and Tunisia to current and expected climate change impacts
  • integrative solutions and courses of action towards innovative and economically viable adaptation strategies and policies
  • foundations and concrete opportunities for future (international) scientific collaborations and private sector initiatives

Consortium

PASIT brings together partners from Tunisia, Chile and Germany. Their expertise spans plant physiology, climate change, prediction modelling, social sciences, economics as well as environmental and risk communication.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany https://www.uni-muenchen.de/
Universität Bonn, Germany https://www.uni-bonn.de/
Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, Tunisia http://www.inat.tn/fr
Institut de l’Olivier, Tunisia http://www.iosfax.agrinet.tn/
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile http://www.pucv.cl/

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