Il principale elemento di debolezza strutturale delle aree rurali della Campania è l’età elevata degli addetti e la scarsa innovazione. Di conseguenza il vasto patrimonio di biodiversità di ortaggi, cereali e frutta che potrebbe essere una grande risorsa per il rilancio in agricoltura in queste aree non è sufficientemente esplorato e subisce erosione genetica a causa dell’invecchiamento della popolazione e dello spopolamento. Il progetto i valorizza la biodiversità locale e ne introduce nuova coinvolgendo direttamente i giovani della Valle dell’Ufita. I risultati scientifici del progetto sulle mele antiche, sulla cicerchia e sulla quinoa mostrano l’importanza tra biodiversità (“Best Practice”) e nutrizione determinando un miglioramento della diversità nutrizionale e della qualità alimentare nella Valle dell’Ufita. I principali beneficiari sono i giovani in cerca di prima occupazione, gli agricoltori dell’area, le comunità locali ed i consumatori affetti da intolleranze alimentari.
Institute for Mediterranean Agriculture and Forestry- National Research Council - ItaliaCandidato guida
The ISAFoM is a competitive research and integrated structure in the European research system, international and national levels. The strategic objective of the lines of research of the Institute is to contribute to sustainable development of the agricultural and forestry system in consideration of the effects of climate change along the following lines of research: - the integration of research conducted in different UOS on specific aspects of the biological and ecological balances in view of their application in the optimal conservation of forest resources for agricultural distributed in regions with a Mediterranean climate; - enhancement and innovation of agri-food and forestry environments in a Mediterranean climate, with particular attention to their overall quality; - cultivation and use of non-food products and by-products of the processing of food products for energy purposes; - study of methodologies of the effects of the atmosphere and climate on present and future productive behavior and interactions with the natural and human environment of crops using measurement platforms aero-flow, methods of correlation turbulent aero-flow and mass balance in the atmospheric boundary layer; - monitoring, advanced planning, inventory and valuation of ecosystem services of forest resources.
Slow Food Irpinia Ufita Hill and Taurasi - ItaliaPartner dell'iniziativa
Slow Food is a non-profit organization that has 100,000 members in 150 countries around the world. Founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986, has the goal of promoting worldwide the food good, clean and fair. Good to eat, for its organoleptic qualities, but also for the values of identity and emotional that door. Clean because it is produced in an environmentally friendly manner and environmentally friendly. Just because it conforms to social equity in production and marketing. For Slow Food must return to giving the right value to food, respecting those who produce it, who eats it, the environment and the palate. So Slow Food is committed to: • protect the real food - discover the goods protected by Slow Food Presidia Ark of Taste cataloged ones, those sold directly from those who produce them at Earth Markets. • promote the right to pleasure, from knowledge, sociability, conviviality, pleasure. Because the more you know, the better you choose, the better live! Sharing food favors the encounter, dialogue and the joy of being together. Be captivated by the events that Slow Food organizes daily dinners, tastings and other events near your home. And do not miss the great events of the Slow Food network: Cheese, Slow Fish, Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre. • spread the gastronomic culture: to go beyond the recipe, because we are behind a food manufacturer, territories, emotions and knowledge. With your card you special discounts to the Master of Food, books and guides of Slow Food Editor, events and "premises friends." • educate the future: the future needs fertile soil, plant and animal species, less waste and more diversity, less concrete and more beauty. If you know the food you eat can help the planet. This is what Slow Food promotes activities with schools and families, and with projects such as the Gardens in Conduct and 1000 Gardens in Africa.
Higher Education Institute G. DE Gruttola of Ariano Irpino (AV) - ItaliaPartner dell'iniziativa
The Istitute of higher education “G. DE Gruttola” di Ariano Irpino (AV), "one school a lot knowledge" is a reference in the Valle dell'Ufita and has three different specializations: Services for Industry and crafts; Services for agriculture and rural development; services for the food and wine and the hotel sector. The school is equipped with specialized laboratories in three different themes and is actively involved in research projects on training and specialization of the students. Recently was honored by Apple for the realization of the ebook that students and professors have been able to eliminate paper books.
The main elements of structural weakness in the rural areas of Campania are the average age of farm workers and the scant level of innovation. Consequently, the vast heritage of vegetable, cereal and fruit biodiversity which could be a great resource for relaunching agriculture in these areas is not sufficiently exploited and is subject to genetic erosion due to rural depopulation and aging. Therefore the project aims to capitalise on local crop diversity and to introduce new plant genetic resources, directly involving the young generations of the Ufita Valley. Recovering local knowledge is an integral part of biodiversity management and is useful for land conservation. These activities which chiefly target young people may be considered the necessary instrument to introduce social and occupational innovation in small rural communities.
The main innovation was to involve schoolchildren directly and actively in research projects in biodiversity and food safety. Given that many are sons and daughters of farmers working on 2000 hectares the Italian National Research Council (CNR), “G.De Gruttola” Higher Education Institute and Slow Food decided to take measures to train a new generation of future farmers and technicians who are much more attentive to the impact of farming on the environment but also capable of enhancing the heritage of plant genetic resources in this area. Original new ideas included both the involvement of students to define a protocol for growing Quinoa (Quinoa Felix, Measure 124 PSR 2007-2013), a crop never before introduced in Italy, and to train up via specific courses new professional profiles such as biodiversity steward farmers (Salve, Measure 214 PSR 2007-2013).
The context for the research and dissemination activities is the Ufita Valley, noted in the past for its cultivation of tobacco. Since 2010, in this context, with the reduction in direct incentives for production, this crop has become unprofitable. Hence some far-sighted farmers have reintroduced with success local ecotypes of both herbaceous crops and tree crops well adapted to the environment: they do not need to be fertilised, irrigated or weeded, and they are also able to supply highly nutritious and healthy products, extending the quantity and quality of food available to consumers. The ability to invest in local genetic resources, rediscovering the value of crops and ecotypes which require low energy inputs for growing and enhancing food quality, is the primary objective pursued in the technical training of young farmers from the Ufita Valley.
The agronomic, nutritional and health characteristics of the crops studied as part of the project highlighted very interesting results. From the analysis of four bean ecotypes (Phaseolus vulgaris) it emerged that the native ecotype “Fagiolo di S. Lupo” has almost double the protein content of the others while two old apple (Malus domestica) cultivars have the same nutritional characteristics as some standard cultivars but fewer allergens. Grass pea (Lathyrus sativum) has a higher content of polyphenols and greater antioxidant capacity than chickpea (Cicer arietinum) but less than lentil (Lens culinaris). Quinoa and amaranthus showed high yields, excellent protein content and a higher fibre content than cereals. The project results show the importance of biodiversity (“Best practice”) and nutrition, which combine to enhance nutritional diversity and food safety in the Ufita Valley.
The main beneficiaries are young people looking for their first job; farmers in the area in question; local communities. Training of the steward-farmers will allow them to count upon a safe income if the cultivation of plant ecotypes in extinction is ensured for at least five years. The young farmers who introduce innovative crops such as Quinoa and Amaranthus broaden the availability of food products required for those affected by food intolerance. Moreover, they may lead to the start-up of gluten-free production chains, thereby creating new jobs and introducing both technical and social innovation. The increase in biodiversity in this rural area from a mix of tradition and innovation thus responds both to occupational and societal needs, given that the Villamaina Biodiversity Park tended by the students is a historical and cultural amenity for the inhabitants of the area.
The Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean of the Italian National Research Council, headquartered in Ercolano, province of Naples, participated with five researchers and 1 technologist with experience in the sustainability of Mediterranean agricultural systems. Six experts from the Irpinia Ufita Hills and Taurasi branch of Slow Food took part, contributing with their contacts with school principals and their knowledge of typical local products. A teacher from the Higher Education Institute of Ariano Irpino and an ornithologist from the non-profit Association for Research and Dissemination Environmental Education (ARDEA) also took part. Finally, a more numerically substantial contribution was made to the research projects “Ancient fruits of Irpinia”, “Quinoa Felix”, and the innovative project “School-work alternation” by 15 pupils from the second, third and fourth years of the De Gruttola Higher Education Institute.
There were various difficulties which were partly overcome. Direct pupil involvement was difficult, seeing that few principals responded to the invitation. This problem was solved thanks to the contribution of Slow Food which directly contacted schoolteachers in the area. As regards the protocol for growing Quinoa, difficulties in sowing due to excessively small seed and the weather pattern created problems for the students, who in part saved the crop. By contrast, farmers encountered little technical support in finding an immediate alternative to tobacco and outlets for new products. In the case of tomato, excellent quality resulted in the produce being sold overseas, while for durum wheat farmers receive too small a subsidy per hectare for sustainable production and have a production chain which is too still long. However, here too the excellent quality should help the project take off.
The increase in biodiversity in the Ufita Valley as a consequence of the abandonment of tobacco has resulted in large energy savings, given that all the new crops introduced consume less water and nitrogen. However, there has been a major positive impact on biodiversity due to the abandonment of the use of highly toxic Class I pesticides originally employed for tobacco. This has led to three relatively rare insectivore bird species being found in the Ufita Valley, listed as threatened under Annex I of the EU’s Birds Directive, namely the Lesser Grey Shrike, Wood Lark and Tawny Pipit. Farmers have also reported seeing larger numbers of mammals, namely the Fox, Badger, Beech Marten, Weasel, Polecat and Hedgehog, and a boom in the numbers of Fireflies. Further, the abandonment of irrigation has led to an increase in river discharge and the recovery of aquatic fauna.
The various activities are due to end in 2015, although others connected with the project are expected to continue. The professional profiles trained up should perform their activities in the years to come while others are envisaged, such as experts in food product allergens. Several restaurants have already listed ancient fruit varieties in their menus to make the public aware of them. The most important initiative connected with the project and considered its natural sequel is the research project “Development of high quality food protein through sustainable production and processing” presented by the European consortium “Protein2Food”. Plant proteins, of undeniable nutritional and agronomic value, may be the answer to the demand for high-quality protein foods to satisfy the food requirements of a growing world population. At the same time, they allow sustainable agricultural practices, conserve biodiversity and enhance food safety.
The strategies used to communicate the results were very innovative, partly thanks to the contribution of students. Dissemination took place in the field in an original fashion with thematic seminars on the occasion of public gastronomic events to make the public aware, for example, of several products, such as the grass pea which was much acclaimed by participants. Specific DVDs were produced for schools both on the subject of biodiversity and on the events organised, as well as the national (CNR) and local (CNR-ISAFoM) links promoted, with leaflets publicising seminars and press releases. Finally, brochures were produced on meetings with farmers, leaflets for schools and on the course for steward-farmers. In collaboration with the FAO a time-lapse video of quinoa was made in the context of the International Year of Quinoa (2013) and the event Leguminosa which enjoyed great success with the public and the press.