ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Organic farming in an intensive agriculture area W23

Tellarini, Dott. Stefano

Technical Office Coop. Agrobiologica - Mustiola Via Ravennate 801 - 47023 CESENA (FO) Italy

In the last four-five years there has been an enormous development of European organic agriculture.
As regards the percentage increase of the number of farms, the first nation in Europe is Italy (+350%), which has the youngest tradition in organic farming, while it is the second after Portugal (+566,7% versus +614,3% in increasing the total area devoted to this kind of agriculture; on the other hand, Portugal has a very small number of farms (only 120 in 1994).
Among Italian regions Sicily has the best trend (3739 ha in 1993), followed by Emilia-Romagna (510 ha in 1993) which itself has more little organic tradition in Italy, while a good experience in I.P.M.; the third region is Veneto (471 ha in 1993).
These organic experiences show a high percentage of land being converted to organic farming (40-60%), and this indicates this great development is concentrated over the last two or three years.
Some questions arise: 1) Why? Which are the basic reasons of this intensive development in areas where the introduction of organic farming is more recent? 2) Has the concept of »organic« perhaps been distorted from tradition in these areas? 3) Is this development positive or negative for the potential future increase of organic farming in the world?
As regards Emilia-Romagna region, I'll speak about the case »Romagna« seen from the privileged observatory of my cooperative.
The causes of development Generally in Italy: 1) EEC Regulation 2092/91 2) EEC Regulation 2078/92 3) A relatively high number and a relatively little size of farms in Italy. 4) Opening and spreading of organic market to North Europe 5) Favourable exchange.
Particularly in Romagna: 1) Good windspreading of I.P.M. 2) Quite a good percentage of part-time farming and small-farmers, then a high use of family cheap labour 3) Good presence of services to single farms (technical means marketing and technical advise) and to associated farms (packaging and transport) at low prices.
Political strategies 1) for a middle-long period 2) sensitization - information - education 3) for all branches farmers, customers, people) 4) to get public and private organizations be responsible for the divulgation of the aims and methods of organic farming
Aims: organic agriculture for 30% of farms in the next 20-30 years (the remaining 70% with I.P.M.).