LIFE HELPSOIL and Conservation Agriculture
Conservation Agriculture consists of a series of cultivation practices with the objective of assuring a sustainable and stable productivity and, at the same time, preserving and strengthening agricultural resources and the environment. The principles on which it is based are:
- minimum soil disturbance by the processes
- permanent covering of the soil surface
- crop diversification
Conservation Agriculture plays an important role in restoring soil functionality and in enhancing its â€śecosystem servicesâ€ť, contributing to the increase of resilience and to the capacity of adaptation to climate change. FAO, for instance, identifies in these practices â€“ combined with fertilization integrated strategies, defense of cultivation and water usage â€“ the technical pivots on which a â€śsustainable intensification of agricultural productionâ€ť can be built.
Life HelpSoil project aims at demonstrating, in particular, that the application of these techniques:
- is possible and sustainable for farms in the Po plain and in the nearby Alpine and Apennine foot-hills;
- guarantees the fundamental functions that the soil carries out for the environment, such as organic carbon sequestration, conservation of biodiversity and fertility, protection against erosion;
- improves the environmental performance of agriculture, reducing, for example, energy and water consumptions.
Within the project, innovative techniques for irrigation, distribution of zootechnical effluents and defense of the cultures will be tested along and combined with the practices of Conservation Agriculture.