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    The duration of the congress is 5 days, but participants are encouraged to enjoy the beauty of the country and attend post congress touristic tours that can be specially organized.The congress major theme is “Cactus as cash crop in dry areas for better livelihood and food security”. It will include a scientific program, a “world café” session, a cactus fair and a one-day field visit.The scientific program embraces 8 sessions introduced by invited speakers (see program below) followed by short oral presentations and posters. These sessions are:

    • ­ Fruit production: Orchard and fruit management
    • ­ Genetic resources and breeding
    • ­ Forage and energy production and uses
    • ­ Agro-industries and uses
    • ­ Medicinal and nutraceutical uses
    • ­ Cochineal, pests and diseases
    • ­ Rural development and marketing
    • ­ “World Café” session

    The fair will include exhibitions of fruit producers and processed products from cactus (fruits, nopalitos, cosmetics, seeds oil, etc.). Research innovations and mechanization can benefit from the fair to make better visibility of their achievements. The participation of foreign producers and manufacturers is strongly encouraged.

    The world café will be held in plenary session where a selected panel will be chosen to interact with participants around the theme “Cactus as cash crop in dry areas for better livelihood and food security”. This discussion platform will help building major recommendations of the congress.

    The field visit will concern the tract Hammamet-Kasserine through Kairouan. Cactus farms will be visited as well as cactus processing units. Along the way, participants will enjoy visiting different roman archeological sites.

    Draft program

    13 September 2020  
    17:00-19:00 Welcome reception and registration
    14 September 2020  
    08:00-09:00 Registration and poster display
    09:00-10:00 Opening ceremony: welcome statements of national and international authorities
    Session 1

    Fruit production: Orchard and fruit management

    Prof. Paolo Inglese(Invited speaker):New frontiers for cactus pear fruit production
    Session 2

    Genetic resources and breeding 

    Prof. Alessandra Gentile(Invited speaker):State of the art and perspectives in Opuntia genetics and breeding
    15 September 2020  
    Session 3

    Forage and energy production and uses

    Prof. Hichem Ben Salem(Invited speaker):Updated knowledge on advantageous uses of cactus in livestock feeding. A meta-analysis
    Session 4

    Agro-industries and uses 

    Prof. Carmen Saenz(Invited speaker):From rural development to molecular gastronomy
    Session 5

    Medicinal and nutraceutical uses 

    Prof. Monica Nazareno(Invited speaker):Overview of the latest scientific data reported concerning the medicinal properties of cactus products
    16 September 2020  
    Session 6

    Cochineal, pests and diseases 

    Dr. Mustapha El-Bouhssini(Invited speaker):How vulnerable is cactus to pests?
      General meeting of the international committee of FAO-ICARDA Cactusnet
    17 September 2020  
    07:00-18:00 Field visit to Kasserine
    18 September 2020  
    Session 7

    Rural development and marketing 

    Dr. Johan Potgieter(Invited speaker):Gross margin analysis of cactus pear fruit production in South Africa
    Session 8 World Café session “Cactus as cash crop in dry areas for better livelihood and food security “ (Moderator FatenKhemmassi)
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