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Civic agriculture: AiCARE rewards the most fertile ideas


Civic agriculture, agriculture for the future, a future that is in the hands of citizens, their good ideas AiCARE has decided to reward. Angela Galasso and Silvia Paolini, founding members of the Italian Agency for the Countryside and Responsible Agriculture and Ethics (AiCARE) they have received many examples of good practice which will become part of one Map of civic agriculture in Italy. To be enriched year after year, award after award.

1) How long and with what purpose have you established this award?

This is the third edition, the award is biennial and the first edition dates back to 2008. Initially it was organized by the blog of www.lombricosociale.info the blog from which it was born AiCARE. The aim of the award is to bring out and make known the experiences that work in civic, ethical and social agriculture, but also to create ways of meeting, comparing and exchanging these realities. To foster growth together and to help those who are just starting out or want to start such activities.

2) What are the news of this edition?

This year the partner network is very important. The Award is sponsored by Inea (National Institute of Agricultural Economics), among its supporters, the Campagna Amica Foundation, the University of Tuscia and Pisa; the award ceremony will take place within the Festival for trails and remiges of Turin (www.persentierieremiganti.it). Among the jurors is Pierre Rabhi, one of the pioneers of agro-ecology, founder of the Hummingbird movement, who not only professes the need to change the development model, but proposes solutions and, above all, applies them. Furthermore, for the first time, the Media category was added, to reward those who talk about civic agriculture, and we also involved "the public" through online voting. After the award ceremony, all participants will be described and available on the website, in a sort of Italian map of civic agriculture.

3) How many participated in this edition? From which parts of Italy and what types of people?

There are 152 participants from all over Italy, with a slight superiority in the north (47% north, 31% center and 22% south). On the typology, I would say of all kinds: agricultural enterprises, social cooperatives, associations, but also schools, public administrations, individual citizens. A sign that the issue is growing and involving people more and more.

4) What categories does the prize have and which were the most popular ones?

This edition is more articulated than the previous ones. The Prize is divided into 2 sections and 4 special prizes. The sections are "Good practices" (social agriculture, meeting farmers-consumers, beyond teaching, shared gardens and outsiders) and "Media" (videos, photos and articles, which tell the story ofcivic agriculture". There are 4 special prizes: the one for virtuous public administrations, the agriciviconsumer prize, for individual consumers, the young innovators prize, for young people's ideas, and the "Right oil" prize in collaboration with Extrascape.org.

5) Compared to the previous editions, have you found different proposals? How has civic agriculture been evolving in recent years?

There is certainly growth, both numerical and of interest, but also an evolution.

L'agriculture it is increasingly taking on an active role in generating innovative social paths. This is perceived in the great participation of people in this sector, in the involvement of individual citizens, as in the example of urban gardens, but also in the construction of direct relationships between producers and consumers. The consumer becomes, together with the producer, responsible for what he buys. There is certainly an ever wider sharing by people but also an awareness on the part of administrations that are beginning to see, in civic farming practices, possible partners to build innovative solutions to the needs of local communities.

6) What other initiatives are you pursuing as AICARE?

In addition to communication and dissemination activities, it is active in training and information courses, technical assistance and research, especially with the University of Tuscia and Pisa. Among the ongoing projects, certainly the dissemination of knowledge on civic agriculture is the one that is most important to us, and which first led us to the realization of "I Buoni Frutti: a journey in Italy of the new civic, ethical and responsible agriculture ”- first trip and then book -, and now to the realization of one Map of civic agriculture in Italy.

7) Do you find interest and collaboration in institutions and individuals?

The topic is growing and today more and more institutions are looking at these issues with interest. Some universities, such as that of Pisa and Viterbo, were the first to deal with the subject and still continue to pursue these topics today. But also national institutions, regional and local administrations are becoming more and more interested in these issues. A request to be made to them could be to support and support the realities that practicecivic agriculture and to involve them in the decision-making and definition phases of programs, regulations and laws: one can only start from those who are practicing it to understand thecivic agriculture.

the Award can be followed on the website www.aicareaward.org


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