In Marseille, urban agriculture wants to carve out new paths

    In Marseille, urban agriculture wants to carve out new paths

    An unsuspected green setting, wedged between the A50, an appliance store, a DIY store and a beer factory. In Saint-Menet (11e), the Maussane site is home to 2.5 hectares of land, of which 1.5 are considered cultivable. In two to three months, a farmer will reinvest these fertile lands for a market gardening activity.

    An agricultural return for this unexploited land for about twenty years but which ” had been cultivated in market gardening for at least 80 years », According to the Metropolis. As part of its territorial food project, the community voted in 2019, an action plan in favor of urban agriculture. From ” Priority actions »Of this plan, included the acquisition of Maussane with a view to making it available to an urban farmer. Hitherto classified as an area to be urbanized, the plot was protected from any concreteization during the new local town planning plan which included it in an agricultural area.

    This Monday morning, a visit was organized by the Metropolis and the Chamber of Agriculture for the candidates. About twenty were present. ” And still not all are there and that does not mean that all will submit a file », Underlines André Villeneuve, rural development project manager at the Chamber of Agriculture.

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    « This is the first call for projects of this type in Marseille, it attracts a lot of people », He appreciates when launching the visit. The project manager still has similar programs in mind in Aubagne or Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, where the candidates can hardly be counted on the fingers of one hand. ” We have an ongoing project in Gignac but we can’t find anyone », He laments.

    All in terraces, the land of La Maussane flows into the Marseille canal, which will irrigate the plantations. According to the diagnosis of the chamber of agriculture, “ the soils are of good quality, favorable to market gardening “. The provision of the site also includes an agricultural building of 90 m², a garage of 30 m² and a greenhouse of 100 m². Remains of the previous operation, former pig houses, henhouses and housing, all in very poor condition, will however be demolished.

    The projects of the candidates, who have until February 15 to submit their applications, should focus on ” diversified, ecological food production and marketing in short local circuits “. A specification in tune with the times. ” It’s good, things are moving because when I moved in, there was no land available », Comments Sébastien Pioli, market gardener, who operates two areas à la Valentine (11e) and Aubagne, who came to support a candidate.

    Soon 9 hectares

    in Sainte-Marthe

    In order not to possibly bias the current call for projects, we will not mention the names of the few candidates interviewed. There are associations for the promotion of urban agriculture, seasoned farmers or novices, in professional retraining. ” I’m going to file a case but there is competition One of them blows. Some discuss among themselves, probe the earth. Organic, diversified culture, short circuits often come back. The question of the lease is raised. A priori for a period of 9 years, it will follow the agricultural rent index set each year by the prefecture. ” The goal is to facilitate the installation, so the price will be very reasonable », Reassures the Metropolis. ” The farmer will have no problem marketing his products », Predicts André Villeneuve. According to him, this type of project denotes ” a blatant political awareness “. In addition to La Maussane, another call for projects is underway, this time in Sainte-Marthe (14e). Spread over 3 lots, 9 hectares will be cultivated by 2023.

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