MOUNTAINHER - Empowering women associations as drivers for agro-ecological transformation to generate income for Mountain farming communities.

About Us

MountainHER wants to put rural women front and center as the true drivers for social and economic progress in remote mountain communities of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Croatia, and Italy. Barley and durum wheat faerming and food systems are the two crops targeted by this project. An holistic approach will be promoted to define sustainable business models that shall promote higher income in rural communities via better redistribution of profits along super-short value chains, of which female associations are the key linkage. The existing governance system of these associations will be revised to unlock their full economic potential, offering equal and advantageous conditions for all their members. Their role of converting the farm harvests into high value food and malt products will be supported to generate 10 to 100 times more income than the simple harvest. Adequate connection with physical retailers and digital markets will be ensured, while in parallel preliminary consumers appreciation study will be conducted to assess the potential for gaining market shares. MountainHER provides training and tools to favor the purchase of local harvests at higher prices by the associations. In exchange, farmers are prompted to produce following agro-ecological practices, which are on one side more respectful of the environment, and on the other can generate higher prices for the food produced. MountainHER will promote circular economies to favor the conversion of the community waste into non synthetic fertilizers, and use the latest management approaches to ensure maximum profitability while reducing the carbon costs of farming. Overall, MountainHER aims at modifying the continuum farm-to-fork to facilitate the establishment of sustainable short value chains, that are equitable, and profitable.

Period of Implementations

Jul 1, 2022 - Jun 30, 2025

Total Budget

EUR 2.750.000,00



MountainHER aims at taking advantage of nascent marketing opportunities in an agroecological food system approach “from farm to fork” to empower rural women associations to become true drivers for social and economic change


Implement a holistic intervention in six pilot mountain communities to revise the continuum from farm-to-fork by promoting agroecological production solutions and income opportunities via short-value chains and circular economies Utilize living labs to pilot and assess the validity of technologies and practices together with mountain farming communities in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Croatia, and Italy Include these communities in participatory research to identify the best durum wheat and barley varieties derived from ancient grains adapted to agroecological production Establish community-based seed enterprises to create employment for women and returning youth Define agroecological practices for a sustainable increase in productivity of grains and straw to be used as fodder Promote circular economy opportunities for local businesses to produce non-synthetic organic fertilizers starting from farm waste Revise the governance of female cooperatives to enable decent work and improve their roles as income generators for the community Production of traditional foods and malt products to enhance consumer-perceived value Create market opportunities for these cooperatives via digital innovations and retail assessments Generate road maps for scaling MountainHER interventions across countries and communities

Impact Pathway

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Title: Women in wheat field

Author: Filippo Maria Bassi

Date: 2022-10-24

Title: Logo of the MountainHER project

Author: Filippo Maria Bassi

Date: 2022-10-19

Title: Project management and scientific coordination

Author: Rachid Mrabet

Date: 2022-07-18

Title: Productivity and biodiversity boost via participatory variety selection

Author: Filippo Maria Bassi

Date: 2022-07-18

Title: Resilient agroecological solutions for circular economy

Author: Rola Geryes El Amil

Date: 2022-07-18

Title: Food business for radical transformation and employment generation

Author: Dubravka Kolarić Zatezalo

Date: 2022-07-18

Title: The “forks”: meeting consumers appreciation

Author: Ilaria Mazzoli

Date: 2022-07-18

Title: Communication and outreach

Author: Hajer Ben Ghanem

Date: 2022-07-18

Title: MountainHer Kick-off Meeting agenda

Author: Rachid Mrabet

Date: 2022-07-18

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