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Sheep and goat organic meat production in the mediterranean region

By Akram Znaïdi


All animal livestock of the South Mediterranean Countries suffer from climatic condition of mild region characterised by moist winter and hot dry summer. Crop resources in the majority of the countries cannot cover the animal need, so farmer has two solutions feeding his flock under than necessary with effects on yield of production or adding in the animal ration a concentrate with high energy value but this is costly. Also the majority of small ruminants breeds in Mediterranean countries are local breeds which are well adapted to the local conditions but with low level of production .\ud For this reasons organic animal production appears the most suited solution to solve these problems because organic agriculture with its specific techniques uses less quantities of inputs (minimum of concentrated aliments) and valorises pasture resources with good management of grazing. As to organic production it is preferable to have local animal breed, the most important criterion is the quality of the product and not the quantity.\ud Consumers start now to give more importance to quality of meat consumed because of the problems of BSE , toxins and brucellosis. They aim at healthy products with traceability and without any use of OGM crops or animal powder in animal ration. This condition can be easily realised with organic techniques.\ud Many Mediterranean countries like Tunisia start to make policies supporting the organic agriculture sector and write their own regulation based on IFOAM Basic Guidelines and EU-Regulation.\ud In Tunisia legislation for organic animal production is in preparation now and must be effective before the end of 2001 but the analysis of draft standards shows that there is a copy of UE-Regulation 2092/91 for animal production. This legislation may present some problems in terms of application because of the wide differences between European conditions and Tunisian conditions, for instance techniques of flock conduct are different because of the climatic conditions, traditional farm habits and nature of animal breed.\ud Other problems for Mediterranean countries concern the lack of local markets for organic meat, so all the production is for exportation towards European market and here it seems impossible to export living animal because of European restriction in terms of processing. In the case of Tunisia there is no slaughterhouse which respond to international standards that’s why nowadays southern Mediterranean countries cannot export their meat (organic or conventional) towards developed countries. The only solution is to develop local market and to have at international level slaughterhouses , means of storage and meat processing.\u

Topics: Sheep and goats
Year: 2001
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Organic Eprints

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