The call for proposals, promoted with CON IL SUD Foundation, provides a total funding of 3 million euros, distributed according to the needs of each proposal, with an average contribution of 325 thousand euros.
A total of 9 projects have been selected, based on their potential to revitalize rural traditions and create job opportunities for vulnerable groups and young talents who risk leaving the area in search of opportunities.
Below is a brief description of each project.
· Utilità marginale
Div.ergo-onlus Foundation (Apulia)
The goal of the project is to create a sustainable agricultural-social production chain through the cultivation and marketing of traditional Salento crops (legumes, cicerchia fava beans, black chickpeas and saffron), innovative crops (microgreens in a greenhouse) and spontaneous vegetation with commercial potential (Jerusalem artichokes). The initiative will involve the employment of 10 young adults with mental disabilities.
Etnos social cooperative (Sicily)
The aim of the initiative is the recovery and cultivation of an 11- hectare plot of land, by cultivating hemp for industrial purposes, as well as Mediterranean essences, and donkey breeding. The initiative also plans to restore a property located within the land, in order to create a support center for women who are victims of violence or struggling with other forms of social disadvantage. A laboratory will be created for the transformation, packaging and labeling of these products, along with the products of farmers who are part of the network.
Farmer’s co-op Agry Social (Sicily)
The project’s objective is the recovery and cultivation of 3 plots of land, for a total of 48 hectares of private property and a land confiscated from the mafia, through the organic cultivation of vineyards, orchards, tomatoes, lentils, as well as buffalo, cattle and goat breeding. The project will also involve the employment of 15 disadvantaged individuals, mostly ex-offenders or individuals with psychological disorders, who are at risk of social isolation.
· Tutti in Campo
Solidarietà Consorzio - Consortium of Social Cooperatives (Sardinia)
The consortium aims to recover and promote uncultivated land that is part of a private property, through an innovative agricultural initiative that includes the cultivation, production, and sale of ‘Lycium barbarum’, otherwise known as 'goji berries'. The project will result in the employment of 15 disadvantaged individuals, selected by the Municipality of Monastir and by the U.E.P.E. (Ufficio Interdistrettuale Esecuzione Penale Esterna della Sardegna di Cagliari).
· Terre al T.O.P.P. (Terre Origine di Prodotti e Pensiero)
Don Calabria Institute (Sicily)
The goal of the project is to create a “social” educational farm in a 9.5-hectare area owned by the Municipality of Termini Imerese, which is already the seat of a therapeutic community for recovering drug addicts. The projects focuses on three fields: production, by cultivating ancient grains, reviving traditional production methods and raising sheep; social, by initiating 25 internships, and educational, thanks to the restructuring of a rural warehouse in which it intends to build a laboratory for the transformation of milk, as well as one for the production of honey.
· Enotri Farm
WWF Potenza e Aree Interne (Basilicata)
The project aims to restore a plot of land, owned by an agrarian foundation, of approximately 8 hectares. The property will be used to create an environmental education center to hold workshops and events, as well as a 12-bed accommodation. The initiative includes the cultivation of organic products and a beekeeping workshop. The products will be marketed through direct sales, an e-commerce website and the Terra delle Oasi brand channels, organic product networks from the areas managed by the WWF Oasis sites.
Capovolti Social Cooperative (Campania)
The goal of the project is to recover about 5.5 hectares of uncultivated lands - owned by the Municipality of Piaggine, in the heart of the Cilento National Park - through the cultivation of lavender and vegetables, the breeding of 10 donkeys (used for both milk and onotherapy), and tourism activities. The products will be transformed inside a laboratory, distributed, and marketed. The project also includes the integration of 5 foreign minors (nearly 18 years of age), 5 foreign adults and 5 local young people at risk of social exclusion (5 of which with full-time contracts and 10 through internships).
Rossa Sera Social Cooperative (Sicily)
The initiative aims to develop two plots of land of about 13 hectares for the cultivation of vegetables, medicinal plants and ancient grains, as well as an orchard and an olive grove. The projects also provides for the transformation and marketing of cultivated products into canned goods and gluten-free pasta under the supervision of a research organization. The initiative will include horticultural therapy activities and workshops for 50 mentally disabled individuals residing in a partner’s residential facilities, 100 migrants and 600 cancer patients. At the end of the project, 4 individuals will start their own self-employed activity.
· Luna rural laboratory
Itaca Association (Apulia)
The objective of the association is to recover and “re-cultivate” three lands – two private properties and one owned by the Parish of Maria SS Assunta di Galatone – with apricot, fig, almond and walnut trees. It also aims to increase the production of honey and saffron, in order to revive the local supply chain and cultivation, as well as produce microgreens. The project plans to launch 10 job grants for unemployed young adults and migrants seeking asylum.