Sustainable crop models for fruit, vegetable and flower quality productions.
AbstractSustainable development is a paradigm that has evolved over the time, since the ideas of socially acceptable and compatible development, on which it was originally based, are now supported by the more recent notions of ecological equilibria and production process economy, both of which need to be also preserved. Environmental and health safety, rational use of the natural resources and technological tools, upkeep of high social growth rates and respect of a social equity are the basis of the sustainability for any production process, including the agriculture. The new globalization framework has penalized small farms and, at the same time, has put serious constraints to the development of stronger economic systems (medium/large farms), as well. As consequence, the EU has outlined several strategic programs to support small agricultural systems in marginal areas by: 1) strengthening all the quality- related aspects of agricultural production, including nutritional and cultural traits associated to local, typical and in some cases to neglected crops; 2) improving traditional cultural practices by adapting the cropping cycles and fomenting new partnerships between the different parts of the production chain, as for example; promotion of small horticultural chains. Specific political actions for the horticultural production sector have also been developed. Some of these policies are specifically addressed to preserve the biodiversity and to create quality labels certifying typical and/or organic products. All of these are possible strategies that may counteract and cope with the globalization process and increase the competitiveness of many production systems especially those performed by local and small entrepreneurs. New sustainable development models are required by both the market and the implicit requirements of the production system, inside a context on which Europe must face with new emerging economies with lower production costs, by increasing the added value of the final product.
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Copyright (c) 2008 Elia Antonio, De Pascale Stefania, Inglese Paolo
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