Centro de Agroecologia e Regeneração para o Semiárido (CARES)

(Re)learning the ways of understanding and practicing agroecological metabolism, combining productive capacity with the preservation of natural resources.

This is the purpose of the Mértola Agroecology Center, an aggregating hub based on a network governance model, with the Horta da Malhadinha as a space for experimentation, monitoring, and demonstration.

A space where different forms of agricultural production, recognized for their ecological foundations, take place, creating dynamic systems that approach the structure and function of natural ecosystems.

Systems that allow for expanding knowledge on the resilience of practices in a semi-arid context, preserving and rebuilding soil fertility, preventing erosion, using water in a rational and efficient manner, contributing to nutrient retention in the system, valuing and conserving biological diversity, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitating human adaptation to climate change.

This transformation is only possible if this challenge is approached on three simultaneous fronts:

With more knowledge, ensure the principles that can be used to design and manage sustainable agroecosystems.

By promoting effective and innovative practices that can be demonstrated, helping farmers make more appropriate decisions based on their contextual reality.

By raising awareness within the community, and activating the means for these changes to take place.

Serving as a living laboratory, this is the purpose of the Center for Agroecology and Regeneration for the Semi-Arid, empowering, mentoring, and co-creating the urgent implementation of the agroecological transition.