A new hope for agriculture

A new hope for agriculture

That the green revolution started after the Treaty of Rome in 1960 was at the end of the century, we are told a series of data and information that, if aggregated, demonstrate the failure of a production model far from the rules of the ecosystem and, of course, harmful if not , in many cases, dangerous to man.
However, the most alarming thing about this experience (short from the point of view of historical times but very negative for its social and environmental impacts) is represented by the generational fracture that has dispersed thousands of years of knowledge deriving from rural tradition with cultural impoverishment farming) of our countryside and its populations.
So the various attempts, the various experiences, the “need” of a return to the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors (in the light of recent scientific innovations) is the true novelty and hope of a new season and a new hope for the whole planet.


Among all the attempts and new approaches to the quest for the recovery of the knowledge of rural history, the experience gained with Conservation Agriculture (“Conservation Agriculture”) has to be mentioned. This is an innovative approach that has been rapidly spreading in the world over the past ten years, starting with a core of Latin American countries (Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina) that initially applied it experimentally. It is based on a radical bet: cultivating land by giving up the plow forever and utilizing bio-diversity of soils as a key factor for increasing productivity and controlling (if not restoring) erosion of biodiversity and soil fertility.
This result can only be achieved by strictly applying three key principles at the same time: direct sowing, crop rotation and association, permanent soil cover.
What could this mean for Italian agriculture?
We believe it is important to continue to confront and take the lead from different agricultural models than the industrial one that has brought us, to make examples, to the dramatic impoverishment of the soils of the whole peninsula, to the water crisis that is worrying more and more entire communities , the massive presence of heavy metals in farmland, the massive presence of livestock slurps in the ditches, pests and health hazards associated with poultry farms in areas with intensive agriculture etc.
The entire national territory is demonstrating (with its ecological emergencies and alarms) that industrial agriculture, often morbidly linked to a free-fall agroindustrial model, has ended its cycle. A new agricultural and productive model is taking shape: so it is good that all interesting and useful experiences are studied.
Among them, just for reporting purposes, the Kunasisa Project in Swaziland is one of the first and most significant experiences of Conservation Agriculture in Africa: this is a project promoted and managed in collaboration by some NGOs, FAO, the Ministry of Swaziland agriculture with the financial support of other institutions. Started in 2003, it involves rural communities and combines the Conservation Agriculture Approach with the use of local crops and local crops. The most innovative aspect of the project is that the research and experiment lab is represented by the same communities and run by a small peasantry, mostly women.
But in this sense, many experiences have to be mentioned in many parts of the world, where the young people, who are aggregated among them in family communities, are putting on one of the oldest human practices (agriculture) a new impetus and certainly a new hope the FAO (which has been little heard and hindered by too many big interests) has been promoting itself in recent years (such as the promulgation of 2014 as the International Year of Family Agriculture).
In this sense, the whole European PAC and the national and regional RDPs that have been born under the aegis of this agricultural model and are “old” must be recalled without a call, even before they grow.
Hope is called young people in agriculture but above all technicians, such as Doctor of Agronomy and Forestry Doctors and other technicians in the industry, who unfortunately still often, and inappropriately, a culture of maximizing profits, must have courage, determination and ‘a commitment to questioning an agricultural model that is (along with other productive-economic models) the true enemy of a peaceful growth of humanity and the food sovereignty of peoples.

Guido Bissanti

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