In Scandicci it has been establisheda complex of vegetable gardens, called ‘Area Orti Urbani Via Masaccio’, has been created thanks to a regional contribution under the ‘Centomila Orti in Toscana’ programme.
The “Orti della diversità” project it is not only deals with the use and revamping of the area, with the allocation of 29 urban vegetable gardens, but also with the creation and development of activities aimed at training and information, socialisation and aggregation, both interpersonal and intergenerational, around themes relating to the promotion of healthy lifestyles, organic farming and sustainable development.
The gardens will be cultivated using natural methods and 14 of the plots have been allocated to gardeners under 40 years of age.
As part of the European tools to support innovation in agriculture, the European Commission has paid attention to the establishment of multi-actor groups, able to collaborate with applied research. Since 2012, EIP-AGRI (European Innovation Partnership Agriculture) has been activated to facilitate sustainable innovation, through the so-called Operational Groups: a set of subjects that collaborate in the application of an innovation (the GO must consist of at least one farm and one subject operating as a research body). GRAFIS, a precursor project for innovation in the cereal sector in Veneto, made use of this tool which in Italy is included in the Regional RDPs. The Veneto Region adopts a two-phase process: a first phase (measure 16.1) supporting the construction of the GO; a second one (16.2) supporting the activities of the established GO. The GRAFIS project defined the objectives and collaboration methods for the GO on the sustainable cereal supply chain in Veneto, which were then taken forward with the CONSEMI project. GRAFIS was inspired by the work of low-impact cereal chain actors in defining new and innovative ways of organising the various stages of production, from seed selection and management to consumer distribution. The project made use of field meetings in the cereal growing period and sector surveys, and offered the opportunity of a FILIGRANA event for the exchange of knowledge and experiences between the new cereal chain projects active in Veneto, so as to lay the foundations for the activities of the future Operational Group. Other activities were an analysis of varieties suitable for the Veneto locations, technical training meetings for farmers and others in the supply chain and consumer awareness raising.
The Dynaversityproject, taking forward what emerged in the previous DIVERSIFOOD and CERERE projects, focused on understanding the various dimensions of in situ conservation to facilitate communication and dissemination. The loss of diversity in the agri-food chain, and in particular the genetic erosion of edible plants, has been one of the consequences of modern agriculture that acquires particular significance in the context of climate change, as it reduces the ability of crops to adapt to changing conditions. Diversity conservation strategies have long focused on so-called ex-situ conservation (seed banks), but this mode of conservation has the disadvantage of placing limits on the amount of material conserved. Moreover, the material stored in seed banks is, so to speak, stationary in time, as it does not continue to adapt year after year to changing conditions in the fields. To underline the importance of on-farm conservation, DYNAVERSITY facilitated the integration of existing practical and scientific knowledge, and through the analysis of the communities involved in the conservation of agricultural biodiversity, the project aimed to identify efficient modes of organisation and management for the reintroduction of biodiversity into the food chain. As part of the project, Rural Seeds Network has worked to make visible the practices adopted to improve on-farm seed, and to promote its circulation in the community, producing evidence to influence the management strategies of seed systems in the direction of reintroducing biodiversity into the food chain. The project is nearing completion, and case studies and other documentation can already be found on the website. In particular, this project has produced a series of 10 short illustrative videos on biodiversity in the food supply chain, the various laws and regulations that promote and/or hinder agrobiodiversity, and how consumers can also take action to preserve it. Website: http://www.dynaversity.eu/
The Rural Seeds Network has carried out on behalf of ARSIAL (Regional Agency for Agricultural Development and Innovation in Lazio) a participatory and evolutionary genetic breeding project to obtain seeds adapted to the different ecosystems of Lazio, centred on experimentation on three crops:
Between 2019 and 2020, a series of technical-scientific update seminars were also held for Lazio Region technicians on the topic of agricultural biodiversity (one of them in collaboration with the DYNAVERSITY project). In addition, RSR organised animation meetings on the territory to identify the social networks present and facilitate their involvement in the dynamic management of agricultural biodiversity and, in particular, in the management of variety conservation systems by local communities. The programme targeted all those actors dedicated to the protection of agrobiodiversity, including in organic and biodynamic systems, and to the transition to low-input production systems. Website: http://www.arsial.it/arsial/biodiversita/promuovere-la-diversita-per-innovare-i-sistemi-agricoli-programma-di-ricerca/
BIOGREEN, is an intensive training in organic and biodynamic farming, within the framework of the Tuscany Region programme to contribute to innovative business management, devoted to the low environmental impact and capable of adding value to the products of organic and biodynamic agriculture. The BIOGREEN course aims to create a figure who is aware of the social and economic opportunities with a modern approach to organic and biodynamic agriculture and to stimulate the birth of innovative local supply chains.
The BIOGREEN course aims to train the target group in organic and biodynamic farming methods and in innovative and effective farm management, also in relation to market opportunities and agricultural policies. BIOGREEN offers farmers in-depth training on the most important topics of this type of agriculture, starting with the soil – how to preserve or increase fertility, which processing techniques to use – agricultural biodiversity – which seeds to use, how to carry out research on the farm, how to cultivate evolving populations – but also how to adhere to organic/biodynamic regulations and how to approach the sale of products, the composition of the label and communication to consumers. The aim of the workshops is to analyse real cases of organic and biodynamic farms on site. Website: https://www.apab.it/en/biogreen-2021/