Sustainable strategies for the improvement of seriously degraded agricultural areas: The example of Pistachia vera L

EC Environment - Life Programme

With the contribution of the LIFE + financial instrument of the European Union

Objectives

The proposal focuses mainly on development of sustainable cultivation practices for Pistachia vera L. at Mediterranean areas which include sustainable management of soil, water and pesticides, as well as valorization of pistachio wastes and production of compost.

In specific, AgroStrat aims to the:

  1. Development, implementation and wide dissemination of an integrated, recourse based scenario for the protection and improvement of serious degraded cultivated soils in the Mediterranean area, by developing sustainable cultivation practices and re-use of treated agricultural wastes in pilot areas in Greece where Pistachia vera L. is intensively cultivated.
  2. Identification of pressures and practices that contribute to soil degradation, identification of soil quality indicators and implementation of the Soil Thematic Strategy, aiming to protect and ensure the sustainable use of soil by preserving soil functions, preventing threats to soil, mitigating their negative effects and restoring degraded soils. 
  3. Development of software monitoring tools for the sustainable management of intensively cultivated Mediterranean areas, using as an example the cultivation of P.vera L. The tool could be used by individual farmers and also support network development between farmers and local authorities and thus establishment of Central Management Centre (Central Management Monitoring Tool – CMMT), which will promote continuous monitoring of cultivated areas assisting thus planning and implementation of European, national and local authorities policy.
  4. Exploitation of pistachio wastes to produce valuable, marketable compost to be used as soil additive. Farmers or local authorities can apply the technique at field- or municipal scale to enable waste valorization and re-use.
  5. Development of a GIS-based Land Information System (GIS-LIS) and land suitability maps that will allow controlled and sustainable application of treated pistachio wastes and will guarantee preservation of soil quality. 

Therefore, during the four years of the project, the beneficiaries will focus on many activities aiming :

  1. To record and reverse environmental degradation and mainly of soil and water caused from the improper cultivation practices and waste management of P.vera L. in Greece which so far has been studied in a limited extent, especially by European scientists, and propose sustainable solutions for cultivation and resource and waste management. The achievements will be disseminated also to the other European and non–European pistachio producer countries
  2. To develop strategies and practices that can be applied to pistachio orchards in Mediterranean countries but with the potential to be extended to cover other similar intensively cultivated crops (e.g. vegetables) under Med climatic conditions.
  3. To demonstrate an example on how local communities (farmers and authorities) of highly degraded Med areas can cooperate between each other and with scientists to develop and promote sustainable integrated management of resources and wastes; to continuously monitor effectiveness of their actions while at the same time, to guarantee and combine environment protection and increase in productivity.

After the completion of the foreseen actions, specific proposals and suggestions will be forwarded to national and European policy makers, to be, potentially, included in national and European legislative frameworks.

 

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