The first meeting of the 4CE-MED Italian stakeholder platform (including 15 members, i.e. farmers, farmer advisors, regional and national policy makers, and farmer association representatives) took place online on the 20th July 2020
The platform, which will engage new members in the coming months, has been set up to represent different geographical areas across Italy, and to achieve a balanced gender.
The main results from the first consultation are:
- The use of conservation agriculture (CA) is very limited in Italy, but when adopted it is not reducing crop productions.
- In Italy, each region has its own defined measures for promoting CA.
- Some farmers will be more interested in using CA not as a compulsory practice in each crop/year but as a good practice to be implemented as much as possible.
- Cover crops attract farmer interest, but they are not very diffused yet, mainly in relation to problems concerning the timing for their termination and the sowing of the main crop, which might be challenging in certain soils and climatic conditions. In general, the early sowing of the main crops is a firm target by farmers.
- A relevant issue concerning cover crops is water savings in comparison to traditional winter crops. This might greatly help promoting the diffusion of cover crops.
- The use of camelina cake as animal feed might improve the acceptance of this crop at local level since market demand by livestock farms is considerable.
- Farmers strongly support the need of training activities for farmers and technicians to boost CA in Italy.