The RAIN group of Tuscia and Orvietano has held its 2nd workshop in the Biodistrict of Lake Bolsena

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The RAIN (Regional Agroforestry Innovation Network) group of Tuscia and Orvietano got into the swing of the AF4EU project with the 2nd workshop, held last January 19th at one of the farms belonging to the Biodistrict of Lake Bolsena.

The valley, a hotbed of biodiversity and landscape, is a faithful testimony of what for centuries has characterised the method of cultivation of the territories of Central Italy: the harmonious juxtaposition of cultivated land and wooded areas, frequented by grazing animals, which today in a more technical-scientific way we call agroforestry.

In this part of Italy, rich in valleys, rivers and lakes, most farms are medium and small sizes, often family or semi-family-run, with diversified productions and needs different to those of the monocultures and intensive livestock farms that press them just about everywhere.

This type of agricultural entrepreneurship and land management and the basic principles of agroecology, which needs initiatives to deepen and spread agroforestry methods in its agricultural and forested areas, were discussed again in the second workshop organised by CNR and lead by the local Innovation Broker. The overall aim of making territories more resilient to the ongoing climate crisis, countering risks related to the livability and safety of places and pursuing the goal of agricultural production with low or no impact on the environment, are cornerstones of the AF4EU project.

But each place has its own hydro-morphological peculiarities, each soil its own bio-chemical composition, each community its own traditions and culture.

It is in this complexity that the Italian RAIN working group within AF4EU is acting, carrying out the agroforestry knowledge and awareness project. 

This was well reflected in the lively and purposeful participation of the stakeholders present at the second workshop meeting.

The questionnaires administered to farms and representatives of associations, research organisations, universities and entrepreneurs from Tuscia and Orvietano Areas ignited the debate on common issues, stimulated the exchange of information and knowledge among peers, and laid a good foundation for the participatory path necessary for obtaining results that faithfully reflect the realities of the places and people who inhabit this beautiful area of Central Italy.

Precisely in the context of this second workshop, the working group assisted by the CNR of Porano entered into the merits of the AE4EU project, presenting 5 local farms of Biodistrict of Lake Bolsena and organising a field visit to a sixth farm.

The meeting allowed the workshop participants to learn about realities that are close to each other but very different in their history and business model.

The data collected, analysed by the CNR in Porano and reported statistically and comparatively at the European level, will contribute to obtaining a general picture of the situations of the geographical areas of the project, open up possibilities for EU intervention and support initiatives and the formulation of more suitable and equitable regulations at the national and regional levels. They will also help to define good agroforestry innovation practices to be used and identify relevant value chains and diagrams.