LIVINGAGRO, a project field visit guides European and non-European scientists to discover the agroforestry systems of Sardinia


On Wednesday 18th of May, fifty researchers from different European countries, but also the United States, Canada and Australia participated in a field visit in the wooded pastures of Gallura, nothern Sardinia, and in the Nuragic Romanzesu Sanctuary.

The initiative was organized as part of the twenty LIVINGAGRO field visits to be organized in all project countries in order to offer researchers in the field of agroforestry the opportunity to talk to farmers to assess their specific needs of innovation in agroforestry practices and to highlight innovation and knowledge gaps.

For welcome greetings and a brief presentation of the LIVINGAGRO project, Maurizio Malloci (General Director), Salvatore Mele (Director of the Nuoro Territorial Service) and Sara Maltoni, coordinator of the LIVINGAGRO project participated on behalf of Fo.Re.S.T.A.S. bringing greetings also from Giovanni Caria, Extraordinary Commissioner of the Agency.

The field visit began in the morning at the Su Gialdinu farm located in Monti (Sassari area), which is managed by the Mu family since three generations. Here the participants were able to explore the association between cork oaks and pasture, which characterizes the silvo-pastoral farms of Sardinia. There were many questions and curiosities expressed by the audience of researchers, from the method of extraction of the cork, to the management of the flock, phytosanitary aspects and agricultural mechanics. Always punctual and precise the answers of Sebastiano, Marino and Maria Luisa Mu, in the role of “teachers for one day”.

Moreover, at the Su Gialdinu farm the researchers of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISPAAM) Pasquale Arca, Claudio Porqueddu and Antonello Franca, hold a field seminar to illustrate the effects of innovative agronomies on pasture productivity. Participants were able to "touch" and deepen the results of the research which highlighted that wooded pastures are confirmed as excellent environments for the production of forage, while ensuring numerous environmental, landscape and animal welfare benefits, even more with the application of agronomic innovations.

In the afternoon, the group of researchers reached the Nuragic Romanzesu Sanctuary where agroforestry represents a site of historical and anthropological value, which demonstrates the intimate connection between maintenance of the cork landscape and anthropic presence in the area. Matilde Schirru, researcher at the Italian National Research Council (CNR IBE), pointed out the environmental and archaeological value of the area, included in the UNESCO MAB of Tepilora, Rio Posada and Montalbo, illustrating the close relationship between conservation of the traditional cork-based agroforestry landscape and territorial development. Mr. Crabolu of the Textile Crabolu srl company of Nule, presented his experience reporting critical issues and innovations for the enhancement of a local agroforestry chain, namely the sheep wool chain one as a by-product of the zootechnical system for the establishment of a territorial supply chain at zero kilometre intended for the production of handcrafted carpets, materials for the construction industry and other innovative applications of this traditional product.

The field visit was part of the 5-days international Conference on agroforestry EURAF2022, in which Fo.Re.S.T.A.S. also organized the workshop "Mediterranean Agroforestry Systems for Grazed Woodlands and Multifunctional Olive Systems", a side event held on May 17th which saw the participation of the Greek and Jordanian LIVINGAGRO partners, as well as the moderation of the Congress session on May 19th on the topic “Agroforestry in Society and Culture”, chaired by LIVINGAGRO project representatives and in the framework of which the intermediate results of the project were presented.