“We want to save the villages of Italy from abandonment, making farmers and ancient traditions ‘adopt'”

When in 2016 Paolo he came back from United States started with a simple concept. “We asked ourselves why not create a network to revive the abandoned villages on the Italian territory, making everyone aware of the richness and beauty of the heritage in which we live? “. Thus was born Coltivatori di Emozioni, the first platform in Italy of social farming, with the aim of creating a network of farmers and supporters of traditions peasant women to safeguard rural areas at risk of abandonment. Two entrepreneurs lead the startup: Paolo Rooster, 41 years old, from Lecce e Biagio Amantia, 31 years old, from Catania.

“We looked for companies Agriculture who work the land in a traditional way and who wish to pass on this ancient craft ”, recalls Paolo al fattoquotidiano.it. The network today is present in 17 regions and he put it together over 40 farmers in 3 years, thanks also to adoptions come from all over Italy. Through specific “adoption packages”, in fact, i supporters they can donate working hours to companies in the area destined for sowing, to pruning, all’aratura, threshing, harvesting. And they receive as a reward the products that the farmer works and a tree planted with its own name. A system to “support Italian farms, get hired young workers and improve the production chain ”, explain the two owners. Focusing on the small villages and on the producers who have decided to stay there, thanks to the collaboration with theAssociation of Villages of Italy. “To save the villages it is necessary to create new ones opportunity working – continue -. Thanks to donations we succeed, passing on the knowledge Agriculture ancient and the crops that deserve to be rediscovered “.

“Invest in Italy it means doing it in the most beautiful country in the world – he continues Paolo -, but it also means playing a little fantasy ”, he smiles. “Here in startup every day is different, something unplanned always happens ”explains Biagio, co-founder. The constants of the day are computer, e-mail and the database of users “whose number we know by heart at all times”.

Today Bea grow spelled ad Abbateggio, in Abruzzo; Ezio produces hazelnuts a Carentino, in Piedmont; Mattia carries on the specialties of the peasant tradition in the Marche by working ancient grains a Gradara. The first to enter the growers’ network was Stefano benoni, 42 years old, agricultural technician in the municipality of Petacciato, 3,700 inhabitants in the province of Campobasso. “With my brother, who returned from Padua, we had reactivated a small family olive grove, but we wanted to grow, increase the cultivated hectares – recalls Stefano -. In recent years, thanks to Biagio e Paolo, we managed to do it. We understood that it is not enough to commit to having an excellent product, we must be aware that it is essential to strengthen relationships, communication, visibility “.

For example, three years have passed since its joining, thanks to Stefano’s company adoptions, has managed to make all 800 family olive trees productive. “Every morning, together with my father, we check the olive grove and we take care of the different processes to be done. I also reserve part of the time to try to transmit this love and this culture of oil to the migrant workers who are with me – he says -, handing down the knowledge and passion for our profession “.

The most beautiful and significant moment was “the visit to the olive grove of Stefano – remember Biagio –. The welcome, the tour through the fields, i stories and the emotions of the manufacturer “. Paolo e Biagio are working to extend the project to all Italian regions. “Our goal is to be able to reactivate villages and revive small local economies”. The moment exact in which the two entrepreneurs understood that the project could really grow was in November 2016, when an energy efficiency company invested with a minority stake in the startup. “It is often difficult to locate companies O sponsor willing to believe in a new idea: we made it ”. With 2021 and the recovery of activities blocked by pandemic the goal is to extend the project also to tourists foreigners who will want to discover the ancient traditions and maybe decide to move into Italy to experience them. “We would like to be able to reactivate the villages to create – they conclude – a large, widespread and sustainable hotel. The largest in Italy “.

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