There are marginalized young people who grow crops in the Archaeological Park of Pompeii and children with psycho-social problems who in the Cuneo area, at Bubi and Mimi’s farm, take care of the plants in a sensory garden. There is the vegetable garden that “treats” women with cancer problems in Pimentel, in the Cagliari area, and the “garden on the move” to redevelop an urban area in the center of Genoa. These are the four realities awarded by the seventh edition of “Let’s cultivate social agriculture”, the tender organized by Confagricoltura, the non-profit organization Senior-L’age della Wisdom and the Reale Foundation, in collaboration with the Social Farms Network and the University of Rome Tor Vergata . Three of the four projects awarded on Tuesday 24 January in Rome each received a check for 40 thousand euros and a scholarship for the master’s degree in Social Agriculture at the University of Rome Tor Vergata: they are the Di Landro Francesco farm in Naples, the company The farm of Bubi and Mimi of Cuneo and the Therapeutic Garden of Lu of Cagliari. The fourth project (of the Pane e Signore social agricultural cooperative of Genoa) instead collected the special prize of 20 thousand euros.
«This initiative fills us with pride – said the president of Confagricoltura, Massimiliano Giansanti – because it demonstrates how agriculture is not only the primary sector, but also capable of undertaking innovative paths, of social redemption and welfare for the most fragile groups of the population, without losing its economic and entrepreneurial dimension”. “The Ministry of Agriculture – added the minister Francesco Lollobrigida, present at the award ceremony – works to enhance social agriculture and to support the most fragile, young people, women and the disabled who, in this way, can be protagonists of a model virtuous”.
The phenomenon of social farming is growing: in eight years, the number of farms that carry out perfectly integrated social activities, in addition to the regular commitment linked to the cultivation of the land and livestock, has increased by 250%. Social farming is practiced by 12.5% of all agricultural businesses: over half have a turnover of between 50,000 and one million euros, but only 12% exceed one million. Most are found in Northern Italy (41%), 38% in the South and 21% in the Centre.