Successful new LIVINGAGRO capitalization webinar achieved putting innovation in Mediterranean multifunctional olive systems at the centre
On June 28th 2022 a new project capitalization webinar was organized by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) in order to deepen the topic of innovation and transfer of knowledge applied to Mediterranean multifunctional olive systems (focus of the establishing LIVINGAGRO Living Lab 1) at the presence of different stakeholders of the involved project countries (Greece, Italy, Jordan and Lebanon). The event followed a first capitalization webinar focusing on grazed woodlands (the project’s second rising Living Lab) that was organized by CNR on January 28th 2021 to investigate innovations and best practices for this additional particular agroforestry sector.
Multifunctional olive systems in the Mediterranean Basin include agroforestry systems that strongly contribute to supporting local economies, providing both plant and animal products. Today, there is a strong demand from farmers for an integrated system of good practices that guarantee the sustainability of production, the transfer of innovation and the increase in profitability for the territories/actors involved. The LIVINGAGRO project addresses these issues using an Open Innovation approach, based on the establishment of a Living Laboratory on multi-functional olive systems that will allow to co-create economic and social values and the interactions between supply and demand, eliminating geographical and cultural barriers.
The capitalization event started with a welcome and brief introduction to the addressed topic by the event moderator, Federica ROMANO, LIVINGAGRO Communication Manager, which was followed by an intervention by Sara MALTONI of the Regional Forest Agency for Land and Environment of Sardinia (Fo.Re.S.T.A.S. - LIVINGAGRO Leading Partner), who presented LIVINGAGRO project to participants focusing on main activities implemented as well as achieved outputs and results since the project start and the main upcoming initiatives. The floor went then to Claudio PORQUEDDU from the Italian National Research Council, Institute for Animal Production System in Mediterranean Environment (CNR ISPAAM) of Sassari, who introduced to the public the topic of multifunctional olive systems in the Mediterranean area reporting about the general situation and the main threats and challenges the sector is facing.
In the second session of the initiative, four different panellists representing LIVINGAGRO partners introduced the context of olive tree growing in the project countries starting from Italy with Luciana BALDONI of the Italian National Research Council, Institute of Biosciences and BioResources (CNR IBBR) of Perugia, continuing with Greece with Panagiotis KALAITZIS of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh), Lebanon with Milad EL RIACHI from the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) and Jordan with Salam AYOUB of the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC). Single interventions highlighted the role and current trend of multi-functional olive systems in Italy, Greece, Lebanon and Jordan focusing on the relevant innovations for the sector identified within LIVINGAGRO project. The main presented innovations included solutions related to:
- Agronomic practices for agroforestry systems' sustainability (nature-based solutions)
- Precision irrigation and resistant olive trees species for adaptation to climate change
- Enhancement of cultural traditions and plant genetic heritage
- DNA-based authentication of olive trees and olive oil
- Innovative disease management in agroforestry systems (e.g. olive fly and others)
- Self-reseeding species to be used as fodder and forage
- Practices for the increasing yeld while protecting biodiversity and contrast abandonment
The last event session was, finally, dedicated to the capitalization of findings and results of two projects which dealt with multifunctional olive systems related topics, namely “Arimnet REFORMA” project, presented by Luciano PECETTI from the Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA) and “MOLTI” project by Enrico LODOLINI from the same institution (CREA) focusing on the improvement of the production in traditional and in dense as well as high-density olive orchards. An open discussion with the webinar participants followed in the framework of which the public interacted with some panellists in order to submit questions and contributions. The closing remarks were made by Adolfo ROSATI from the Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA) who centred his final intervention on integrated agricultural systems bringing as an example an olive orchard where wild asparagus and poultry is grown in consociation establishing an integrated farming system highlighting the benefits and positive effects of this practice in terms of soil consumption, energy use, income for farmers, circular economy good practices.