GREAT LIFE Agriculture

We involve the entire food chain to reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment, to increase access to healthy foods, and to sustain farmers’ income.

We involve the farmers in spreading the adoption of agronomic practices that in time will generate a stable, sustainable, and income-producing agro-ecosystem, operating over the agricultural territories in a systematic way to generate both well-being and a future.

We involve farmers in replacing cereal crops, that are poorly adapted to climate change, with more resilient crops to reduce agricultural impacts on the environment, to increase both biodiversity and access to quality food, and to support farmers’ incomes.

Agriculture represents one of many sectors that, on the one hand, contribute to climate change and on the other, is in need of adapting to climate change. The Padana Plain constitutes one of the most vulnerable areas, being increasingly subject to extreme events. The latter, in turn, impact negatively on crop yields, on the sustainability of farmers and access to quality food.

“Resilient” agriculture is able to provide agronomic solutions for both the attainment and maintenance of a balance in agroecosystems, a fundamental requirement for an effective response to climatic and environmental fluctuations.

Resilient agronomic techniques include all those practices commonly used in low-input agriculture, such as organic agriculture. In GREAT LIFE, we propose a rotational scheme that ensures continuous soil cover and, consequently, higher soil fertility with a greater water capacity. Additionally, we propose the rotational introduction of summer crops that are both more resilient and adaptable to environmental conditions influenced by climate change, than the commonly used high-water requirement crops, such as maize and beet. In the context of traditional Italian agriculture, several resilient, summer-cycle species, that were once widely used for human nutrition, can be identified.

Thanks to GREAT LIFE, we will experiment with common millet (Panicum miliaceum L) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolour L. Moench), that will be cultivated both as single varieties and in mixtures, in order to constitute “evolutionary populations”.