In the Marche region, the land is mainly hilly, characterised by clayey soils that are difficult to work, poor in organic substance and subject to intense erosive phenomena. Moreover, horticultural and non-horticultural cultivation systems, both organic and integrated, are constantly exposed to biotic adversities such as weeds, fungi and insects. This situation is also due to deep tillage and, above all, the abandonment of crop rotation.
The ORTOBIOSTRIP project tackles these issues by testing low environmental impact techniques on organic farms based on crop diversification approaches capable of increasing production yields, while generating positive environmental and social externalities such as the protection of functional biodiversity (plants, arthropods, earthworms, microorganisms, etc.), soil carbon sequestration and the reduction of erosive phenomena and hydrogeological land instability.
The project has a duration of 36 months (October 2022 – September 2025) and is financed by the Call for Proposals “Support for the establishment and management of EIP Operational Groups on agricultural productivity and sustainability – Submeasure 16.1 Action 2” Annuality 2021 – RDP Marche 2014/2020 (EAFRD funds – contribution granted € 186,222.59).
Dissemination of results
ARCA SRL BENEFIT
In detail, four highly innovative agro-ecological approaches are applied:
Coordination of project activities, animation of the partnership and management of relations with the Regional Administration for the different phases of the preliminary process and the development of the strategic plan of the project.
Transfer and adaptation of innovative techniques for crop diversification (strip cropping), soil conservation (agro-ecological service cover crops and/or enhancement of functional biodiversity) and appropriate crop rotation in G.O. pilot farms.
Agronomic validation and monitoring of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the innovation. Specifically, this activity includes monitoring and analysing the performance of the new cropping system in the farm system and the use of indicators based on field surveys and satellite data to evaluate the innovative systems in comparison with the control system.
Verification of the technical feasibility and potential for replicability and transferability of the proposed innovations. Following the Living Labs approach promoted by the EU, around the pilot farms (which will operate as 'lighthouses') stakeholders will be brought together and involved to discuss specific project issues in a process of co-construction and socialisation of participatory innovation.
The results of the project will be disseminated through different channels: social media, website, conferences, seminars, demonstration sessions, articles in popular and scientific journals. The results will be disseminated on a local, national and European scale through the EIP AGRI (European Partnership for Innovation in Agriculture) network.