A model for multifunctional and sustainable local development of marginal areas 🇮🇹

Region

Tuscany 

Country

ITALY

Leader

UNIVERSITÀ DI PISA

Description

hilly areas of Tuscany Region are marginal areas characterized by conventional extensive agriculture and little agricultural value, because of several environmental and socio- economic constraints, which negatively affect crop productivity, environmental quality, leading to very low farmer income. In such contests, winter cereal-based cropping systems are prevailing, and soil degradation and the decrease of ecosystem service provision are currently of major concern. Soil erosion, nutrient leaching, reduction of C in soils, certainly represent the main critical issues in these areas. The key concept of the project was to redesign the existing farming systems through the introduction of perennial medicinal and aromatic crops with the conversion from conventional to organic agricultural models. At the same time, new supply chains of organic aromatic plants, with a high added value of final products have been developed, supporting the territorial multifunctional development of the area, through the integration processes between agriculture, processing and other economic activities.

This case study will focus on learning from experiences in the project by exploring the effectiveness of the actions made in terms of soil fertility and health improvement, productivity rising, resilience and landscape valorization. We will investigate the possibility of developing business models aiming at adding value to the agronomic management aimed at soil health conservation with innovative crop products through certification and production standards.

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