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The livestock supply chain of the Emilian Apennine shows structural problems in the management of organic matter at farm and territorial scale. Life agriCOlture implements and evaluates governance actions and agronomic best practices, suited to this specific environmental and socio-economic context, able to accomplish a sustainable model of soil management with important benefits in the prevention of hydrogeological risk and in climate change mitigation.

The current management of organic matter in the livestock supply chain of the Emilian Apennine
A sustainable and efficient management of the organic matter produced by the mountain livestock sector of Emilian Apennine is today severely compromised by some structural issues. A longue duree condition of property fragmentation makes the maintenance of field drainages and the balanced distribution of organic matter produced by farms problematic and expensive. The resulting loss of fertile soil is further aggravated by the effects of an agricultural mechanization that is not always matched to the geographical context. This framework has two main consequences: a significant qualitative depletion of grassland and crops and therefore of forage production; an increasing hydraulic instability of fields which leads them to be initially underused and eventually abandoned with significant consequences, in terms of hydrogeological risk, on road infrastructure and real estate assets.
Intervention Area
The project area includes the mountain territory of the two land reclamation consortia involved in the project (Emilia Centrale and Burana). The demonstration plots, around 40 hectares overall, are provided by 15 farms located in areas that are particularly representative of the geographical and pedoclimatic context of the Emilian Apennine.
Life agriCOlture
The project, co-financed by the European Union under the LIFE CCM 2018 program, aims to introduce, in mountain areas of the Emilian Apennine affected by hydrogeological hazard and abandonment, governance actions and agronomic best practices of sustainable soil management in order to demonstrate their effectiveness in the accumulation and conservation of organic carbon and in the recovery of marginal and unstable agricultural fields.
The innovative partnership of Life agriCOlture is conceived in the perspective of a new governance model for sustainable soil management in which the efficient distribution and storage of organic matter is key for the purpose of preventing hydrogeological hazard and increasing agricultural production but also within the framework of the “no-debit rule”, ie the reduction of GHG emissions related to land use and land use change (LULUCF Regulation for 2021-2030). The four partners involved in the project are: Consorzio di Bonifica dell’Emilia Centrale (Coordinating Beneficiary), Consorzio della Bonifica Burana, Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali CRPA, Ente Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino Tosco-Emiliano.
The LIFE agriCOlture project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union.
About the LIFE programme
The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action created in 1992. Every year, the European Commission, which manages the program LIFE launches a call for proposals and, based on criteria that take into account the multiannual strategic program and any national priorities, determines which of the proposed projects, can benefit from the financial support of LIFE and regularly publishes a list of these projects.
Coordinating beneficiary
Associated beneficiaries

Project Title: Livestock farming against climate change problems posed by soil degradation in the Emilian Apennines
Project Code: LIFE18 CCM/IT/001093
Duration: 4 years (from 02.09.2019 to 31.08.2023)
Total budget: 1,515,276 Euro
EU contribution: 833,118 Euro
Project location: Emilia Romagna


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