To Safeguard and to Make the Most of the Rural Environment by Means of a “Sustainable Agro-Environmental Systems” Study

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Maurizia Catalano *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maurizia Catalano | mikimos@mac.com

Abstract

An upheaval of the economy in all parts of the world has recently taken place and has hit all the productive sectors including the agricultural one which is in a very critical state also in fertile areas and not only in poor and marginal ones where a gradual abandon of the land had already taken place years before. Since 1988, the European Union has paid particular attention to this problem, by trying to incentivate an intergrated rural development thinking of a prospective of intersectorial growth with the aim of achieving ways of sustainable agriculture which would lead to valid solutions both for ecology and for the economy. Today, however, even the agricultural productions thought to be rich, provide smaller and smaller incomes to the point that farmers are obliged to ask themselves at the end of the cultivation if it is worthwhile gathering the products or not. The abandon of the countryside could extend to fertile areas which would bring about a serious degeneration and environmental harm. A historian of our times Hobsbawm poses this very important question: “What will happen when extensive areas of the rural landscapes will no longer be needed, for an agriculture outdated and inefficient which it had created for long periods? It was the old agriculture which preserved the landscape. Without it what will happen?… replying that we are no longer defending nature, but a nature which is the outcome of an agricultural cultivation manmade”. It is fundamental in these times to study sustainable agro-environmental systems which can create positive economical moves in order to increase traditional incomes to include the classical agricultural ones. The right use of all environmental and anthropical resources organized in a system is the way to transform the poverty of a lot of marginal areas of Apulia, of other Mediterranean countries and in the world into richness because it is this togetherness of resources, activity and initiative in an economical and organized synergy which can, lacking industrial and commercial possibilities and a remunerative agriculture, give way to environmental, economical and social benefits with positive outcomes on the economy and the employment. In relation to the importance of the environmental issues the Department for the Science of Vegetable Productions of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Bari “Aldo Moro” which has carried out in time studies regarding the Territorial agronomy and the Ecology of the rural environment has, in 2008, set up a project called “T’ESSERE” written and scientifically co-ordinated by Dr. Maurizia Catalano with the aim of making the most of the Apulian territory as a whole, by means of a study of sustainable agro-environmental systems.

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