New Law in Italy Establishes Role of Farmers in Protecting Environment

New Law in Italy Establishes Role of Farmers in Protecting Environment

A new law in Italy estab­lishes farm­ers and agri­cul­tural coop­er­a­tives as guardians of the land.

The leg­is­la­tion defines agri­cul­ture’s role in pro­tect­ing the envi­ron­ment, pro­mot­ing eco­nomic activ­i­ties in areas at risk of aban­don­ment and revers­ing the depop­u­la­tion of rural vil­lages.

According to the law, farm­ers are respon­si­ble for main­tain­ing agri­cul­tural land, which pro­tects against hydro­ge­o­log­i­cal risk, extreme weather events and wild­fires.

See Also:Italian Farmers, Producers Confirm Production Rebound

They are also deemed respon­si­ble for pro­mot­ing rural bio­di­ver­sity” to con­serve the nat­ural land­scape while adding value to local crops.

According to the new law, farm­ers com­bat bio­di­ver­sity loss by pro­tect­ing the habi­tats of bees and other pol­li­nat­ing insects, pro­mot­ing the growth of nec­tar and pollen-pro­duc­ing herba­ceous cover and hedges, trees and other native plant species.

Local author­i­ties are encour­aged by the law to deploy spe­cific projects and pro­to­cols to pro­mote the role of farm­ers as cus­to­di­ans of the land.

According to Istat, the National Institute of Statistics, there are about 1.1 mil­lion com­pa­nies in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor. Of these, 401,000 are solely ded­i­cated to farm­ing, includ­ing 330,000 oper­ated by a sin­gle per­son. The aver­age size of a farm in Italy is about 11 hectares.

The law also estab­lishes the National Day of Agriculture, which will be cel­e­brated every year on the sec­ond Sunday of November to raise aware­ness about the fun­da­men­tal role played by agri­cul­ture, which, in its phases of sow­ing, care, wait­ing and har­vest­ing, embod­ies the essence of life.”

Central and local author­i­ties will pro­mote the day with com­mu­ni­ca­tion cam­paigns on tele­vi­sion and other media and ini­tia­tives in schools.

According to Italian law­mak­ers, agri­cul­ture is essen­tial for meet­ing the basic needs of humans and achiev­ing the coun­try’s eco­nomic, envi­ron­men­tal and social well-being.”

Further strength­en­ing the role of the cat­e­gory, the gov­ern­ment will also be respon­si­ble every year for a national prize, De agri cul­tura, a Latin expres­sion mean­ing about agri­cul­ture.”

This prize will award €20,000 to farm­ers deploy­ing inno­v­a­tive farm­ing tech­niques or prac­tices, which result in bet­ter qual­ity goods and a lower envi­ron­men­tal impact.

The defin­i­tive approval of the new law was greeted with enthu­si­asm by farm­ers’ unions.

Such a mer­i­to­ri­ous inter­ven­tion con­tributes deci­sively to a strong relaunch of the image of the pri­mary sec­tor, too often tar­geted by unac­cept­able accu­sa­tions of envi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion, which in many cases have unfor­tu­nately con­veyed com­mu­nity poli­cies that pay lit­tle atten­tion to those who pro­duce healthy, high-qual­ity food and who con­tribute daily with their work to defend the coun­try’s pro­duc­tive capac­ity,” said Tommaso Battista, the pres­i­dent of the Agricultural Producers Confederation (Copragri).

In a sim­i­lar vein, Cristiano Fini, pres­i­dent of the Italian Farmers Association (CIA), noted that the new law shines a spot­light on the value of [the farmer], cen­tral not only in terms of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion but also from an envi­ron­men­tal and eco­log­i­cal per­spec­tive.”

Indeed, the strate­gic role of the sec­tor is not just to pro­duce healthy and safe food for every­one, but also to ensure the main­te­nance and devel­op­ment of rural areas; to safe­guard the soil and land against hydro­ge­o­log­i­cal insta­bil­ity; to man­age water resources; to pro­duce energy from renew­able sources; to defend the land­scape and bio­di­ver­sity,” he said.

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