This three-year project was funded by the Emilia-Romagna Region for the purposes of Measure 16 of the RDP 2014-2020. BIODIVERSELY CHESTNUT came into being in response to the need to be aware of the biodiversity of chestnuts and their agro-ecosystem, as well as to promote the role of chestnut farmers as “guardians” of biodiversity and the territory. These objectives gave rise to the partnership between researchers, farms producing chestnuts, consortiums and associations of chestnut farmers, who created the official constitution of the operational group BIODIVERSLY CHESTNUT together before a notary. This is an important step towards better integration of the world of knowledge (Universities, research institutions) and the farming sector.
The project involves a collective study shared by the scientific community and chestnut producers to investigate the genetic variability of the chestnut germoplasm sampled at different sites in the Region. Soil from carefully selected sites which differed geo-pedologically, was studied using specific indices, such as biological quality (SBQ) and biological fertility index (BFI). Furthermore, this project aims to make the partner farms custodians of indigenous regional chestnut varieties, by grafting samples taken from field collections in Emilia-Romagna (Granaglione and Zocca) at their orchards. This is connected with the primary objective of the Operational Group, to test, identify and share the “guidelines for the study, preservation and promotion of chestnut biodiversity”.
The working method envisages a shared participatory approach in order to bring the results of research and the needs of the chestnut farmers closer together: an important step towards a “territorial culture” which also means a greater awareness of the role chestnut producers play in protecting environmental biodiversity.
FUNDING: RDP 2014-2020 EMILIA-ROMAGNA REGION Measure 16.1.01 – Operational Groups of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.