Agricultural policies and proposed agricultural reforms in the MENA region (SEMIDE / EMWIS)

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Knowledge management: the forgotten pillar of agricultural development in the MENA region

A poliy brief that emerged from the regional synthesis of the knowledge mapping studies of KariaNet.

“A comprehensive Knowledge Management and Knowledge Sharing strategy can significantly enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of agricultural policies and proposed agricultural reforms in the MENA region according to a study piloted by KariaNet”.

Knowledge Access for Rural Inter-connected Areas Network (KariaNet) is a regional network for the management and sharing of knowledge, information and experience in agriculture and rural development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This Network, inspired by ‘open access principles’, seeks to empower its members, through the use of ICT and non-ICT tools, to make knowledge available and timely accessible to the poor and vulnerable  peasants, small scale farmers, development practitioners, government agencies, researchers, private sector, national and regional NGOs involved in rural development. KariaNet aims to link up the knowledge providers and knowledge brokers with knowledge seekers (two ways knowledge flow) through three thematic networks: a) knowledge management systems and practices in agriculture and rural development, b) food security, and c) rural enterprise development. With a focus on knowledge management KariaNet facilitates and supports demand driven capacity building activities, action research and networking activities across MENA region.

The Vision:
KariaNet aims to enhance the overall performance and effectiveness of development projects in MENA, to enable the rural poor to overcome their poverty.

The Beneficiaries:
Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.

The Objectives:

  • To initiate and sustain a knowledge management hub that builds on and  expands the existing networks and initiatives on knowledge management and knowledge sharing  in rural development in ten countries in the MENA region;
  • To build and sustain national and regional competences needed in networking in knowledge management in Food security and rural enterprise development.
  • To enhance knowledge sharing and management culture and practices supported by the use of ICT’s and non-ICT’s tools for agricultural and rural development.
  • To sustain the network after KariaNet II.

KariaNet is a multi-stakeholder partnership between IFAD, IDRC and IFAD-financed projects in the NENA region ( Near East and North Africa).



Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.