Concept

The « demonstration pilots” component is a key concept in the field of industrial and technical innovations.  In fact, innovative tools are often created within a context of miniature production systems to be integrated and disseminated later in larger-scale production systems.

In order to guarantee more efficient innovations at the physical, socio-economic and environmental levels, the experiments of the SASS III project are conducted in demonstration pilots, i.e. in full-scale units of a size compatible with to the innovation-related scale.

The “Agricultural demonstration pilots” of the SASS III project aim to assert the good performance and efficiency of the farming technological package applied by the farmers themselves in their own farms.

By “innovation”, the project intends to introduce existing technical solutions and tools that are approved in one or more of the SASS countries (Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia) or in any another country, to make the their transfer (technical solutions /tools) to the other SASS countries possible.

An innovative technical package coupled with efficient social and organisational measures and their deployment on full-size production units by the farmers themselves would naturally spur necessary changes in the vicinity of the demonstration pilots. The adoption of the introduced changes would inherently improve land and natural resources management.

The demonstration pilots are then conceived as implementation models for the technical solutions integrated into the concerned local socio-economic context. If they are properly implemented, these solutions would inevitably have positive and boosting effect on the performance of the farming system.

It is important to clarify here  that the demonstration pilots do not aim to examine the structural causes of the poor performance of irrigated agriculture as structural water deficit (transfer of water) or legal land issues (land fragmentation, contraction of irrigated perimeters) which represent problems that require long term and radical reforms.  

As such, each pilot’s theme enables the identification of the set of necessary actions to be conducted. This set would cover in theory a multitude of actions within the framework of a multi-faceted systematic approach that integrates various irrigation water issues (mobilisation, distribution, agricultural use, drainage). However, due to budgetary constraints, the OSS team in charge of the SASS III project has proceeded to hierarchize the most feasible actions by conducting an exclusive selection of the most decisive, innovative and short term actions with likely concrete potential results.