"We always want to be better but it is difficult to accept change", Emilie Borel, partner of ARTOLIO, on the subject of the modernization of the fields
In a sector as traditional as the agricultural, innovation and adaptation is as important as the crops themselves. The ARTOLIO project is aware of this, for it is a known fact that if the sector does not find means to adapt to our new reality, there will be no new generations to carry on the stead of the present farmers, and thus the sector will eventually perish in its outdatedness.
Emilie Borel, partner and farmer of ARTOLIO and former humanitarian, joined the project along with her husband for this very reason. She had, when she moved on to Corsica (France) and purchased the land she now owns, a very romantic notion about the way her life would be when she changed her entire lifestyle from the harsh reality of post-war countries to the fields she dream of settling down into.
The notion still applies, for she tends to her groves with the utmost care along with her husband, with whom she acquired a two-faced mill to assure the quality of her oil. "When we built it, we wanted to improve the quality but also the way we tended to that quality" and, in a sense, that is another reason why she joined the project.
Corsica is a difficult place to cultivate, since it is an island surrounded by sea and mountains. The weather is not agreeable and irrigation is scarce. Therefore, the farmers there reunited the conditions to request help from the project, striving to fix these problems and hoping to access new machinery with which to tend to their respective groves. However, Emilie does not think this is then only issue:
"When it comes to education, we adults have trouble dealing with children, so it is even harder when we try to educate other adults and convince them to change their ways." Emilie states, in regards to her involvement with the project and how it affects her and the other farmers around her. "We always want to be better but it is difficult to accept change, to accept the fact that the way we go about things might not be the best one. We may assimilate that what we are doing is not efficient enough, but it is hard to internalize those changes. Even myself."
Emilie firmly believes that the modernization of the fields and their survival in the future does not depend only on the mechanization of the ways of work, but also through education and internalizing these new ways of trending to the fields. "We joined ARTOLIO because we believe the project conveys that meaning quite nicely, even though there is still a long way ahead."