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agriculture is the engine of sustainable development. Here is the “green” decalogue of the Cia

The Confederation’s call at “From Expo 2015 and beyond: agriculture to feed the planet,” the International Agriculture Forum being held in Milan today and tomorrow: “Let’s put the work of the land at the center of the new growth model. Income for businesses and social protagonism for farmers must be ensured in order to protect biodiversity and feed the planet, avoiding standardization and exalting rural values.”

“We are the custodians of the good world and claim a fair income and recognition of our social role.” This, in a nutshell, is the message that the Cia-Confederazione italiana agricoltori, with a strength of more than 900,000 members, delivered to the great of the earth — more than 50 ministers of agricultural resources — gathered at the Milan Expo in the first International Agriculture Forum, where Italian Minister Maurizio Martina presented the “Milan Charter.” A “Charter” to which the Cia wanted to contribute with survey work, listening to the agricultural world, and assessing opportunities and critical issues collected in the document “Territory as Destiny.”

Starting from this document, the Cia is now trying to “dictate” to the representatives of the institutions gathered in Milan a real decalogue to design the agricultural future, convinced as it is that the right to food is not a generic appeal to solve the food emergency, but must be the right to good, quality and identity food against a vision of agriculture capable of producing only commodities in the hands of multinationals.

Cia’s decalogue is entitled “sustainable agriculture.” And it is summed up in these qualifying points:

  1. Agriculture is the engine of sustainable development
  2. Agriculture protects and values biodiversity
  3. Agriculture is identity and territorial
  4. The Farmer is custodian of the world
  5. Farmer has the right to a sustainable income
  6. The farmer is entitled to recognition of his social role
  7. Agriculture has a duty to provide for humankind with respect for all plant and animal species
  8. Agriculture promotes and uses research in order to improve the condition of man and the biosphere
  9. Agriculture is a protagonist of the entire food chain and derives its income from this protagonism
  10. Agriculture is a cultural value, agricultural practices are inspired by territorial identities

From here we need to start again in order to draw a map of the new world development -CIA notes- capable of meeting the demand for food on the one hand and preserving natural resources on the other. Practices such as “land grabbing,” such as the privatization of water resources, such as the reduction of agricultural specialties to commodities, such as the disavowal of the origin of agricultural and agri-food products are the extrinsic expression of a development model that impoverishes the planet and does not solve the food issue.

Cia firmly believes that only the “green economy,” that is, a way of producing that incorporates the concept of limits while simultaneously enhancing territorial specificities and cultural identities while respecting biodiversity, is the possible answer to the food issue and should be the profile of the new agriculture that will emerge from this International Forum. Indeed, it is proven that continuing to insist on the quantitative model without introducing the centrality of agricultural value will not solve the food issue at all but, on the contrary, will trigger new conflicts and even greater inequality.

The Cia is therefore proud to nominate the Italian agricultural model as a paradigm of the new world agricultural horizon, demonstrating that an intensive agriculture, but one that respects biodiversity, an agriculture that becomes a guardian of the environment and the heritage of civilization that it contains and determines, an agriculture that is the protagonist of the entire supply chain from field to table is not only environmentally sustainable, but can and must be economically sustainable. As it is written in “Territory as Destiny” and as it is to be enshrined in the “Milan Charter.” The hope of the CIA is, therefore, that the great of the earth will listen to the green heart of the world and make agriculture the center of all world policies.

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