Organizers :

Riccardo Bocci, Giuseppe De Santis, Matteo Petitti, (Rete Semi Rurali, / Liveseeding project )

Marianna Fenzi (Institut de géographie et durabilité, Université de Lausanne)

Rice is one of the three most produced cereals (together with maize and wheat) worldwide and its growth rate raised about 32 percent since 2000 (FAOSTAT 2022). Developing tailored varieties and ecologically diversified farming rice cultivations is a crucial contribution to the resilience of agricultural and food systems worldwide. Rice has received little attention in Europe despite being one of the most consumed grains. Its production in Italy, the largest producer of rice in Europe, epitomizes the multiple tensions crossing distinct agricultural paradigms: on the one side monocultures relying on the intensive use of chemical inputs and water; on the other side small organic productions based on self-organization of farmers and complex dynamics with the ecosystems (such as wetlands). This latest approach is still neglected by dominant agricultural research initiatives and is also confronted with difficulties in finding an adequate production outlet. This is particularly relevant for productions of heterogeneous rice populations, a promising alternative to face climate change.

Bringing together different actors (rice farmers, breeders, processors, consumers) and disciplines (agronomy, social science), this workshop aims to exchange and analyze experiences on organic rice cultivation (seed selection and management, cultivation in diversified ecosystems, post-harvest) and identify the limits and possible opportunities along the value chain. The discussions will span from agronomical and organizational challenges to political aspects influencing rice production from seed systems and varietal selection to the plate. The workshop will include field visits, disciplinary insights, and facilitated discussions. The transnational and cross-disciplinary based reflections will draw on partners’ experiences (including: Risolo, Liveseeding, Msipang and Swiss initiatives) on three main topics:

  • Methodologies for conservation and breeding activities including for the development of heterogeneous materials and mixtures adapted to diversified socio-agronomical contexts.
  • Benefits and limits of rice production interacting with ecosystems rich in biodiversity.
  • Social and economic aspects. The lack of institutional technical assistance for the experimental efforts and the relationship with the supply chain.
  • The legal aspects concerning the circulation of seeds and their conservation among community members.


16-18 July 2023


Cascina Forestina – Cisliano, Milano.

Una Garlanda – organic rice farm in Rovasenda, Vercelli.


Almendra Cremaschi Bioleft Argentina

Riccardo Bocci, Rete Semi Rurali, Italy

Shalini Buhtani, Indipendent Researcher, New Delhi, India

Giuseppe De Santis, Rete Semi Rurali, Italy

Marianna Fenzi, Institut de géographie et durabilité, Université de Lausanne

Stephan Graf, University of Bern – School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Switzerland

Bhullar Gurbir Singh, University of Bern School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Switzerland

Stephan Gysi – Rice_july_2023_flyer_programme , Switzerland

Bernd Horneburg – Agroecol and University Kassel Germany

Yi-Tang Lin, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Matteo Petitti, Rete Semi Rurali, Italy

Georie Pitong, Director MASIPAG, The Phillipines

Johannes Kotschi – Agroecol  and University Kassel Germany

Sebastian Kussmann,  GZPK, Switzerland

Daniel Wanjam – Kenya Seed Savers, Kenya

Patrick Zwanenberg – Bioleft Argentina

UNIMI (nomi?)

GOSSI (nomi?) da completare


16 July
17.00 Welcome. Riccardo Bocci, Giuseppe De Santis, Marianna Fenzi, Matteo Petitti
17.30 Participants introductions and welcome cocktail
20.00 Dinner
17 July
9:00 Welcome Coffee: Rosini c/o Marco Cuneo Abbiategrasso (Milan).


Presentation of the experience of the rice supporting schemes led by consumers into “Southern Park Food District” pacts.
10:00 Presentations and discussions
11:30 Visits to multiplication plots of local Lombardy varieties of the Risolo project- Mis. 10 PSR Regione Lombardia
12:30 Itinerant pathway through farmers’ rice fields and experimental plots at “Una Garlanda” organic rice farm in Rovasenda (Vercelli)
13.15 Lunch
14:30 Presentations and discussions
19:30 Panel test, evaluation of rice from the Organic Heterogeneous Material trial via a SeedLinked mobile phone application (Liveseeding Project).
20:00 Social dinner based on rice population developed by the project, wine tasting with La Terra Trema.
18 July
9:00 Breakfast and Final remarks

Funded by the European union