On April 23, 2021, the University of Pisa organized a discussion about the “Strategy for an evolution of Custodian farmers’ role” in the Tuscany Region to protect regional genetic resources from extinction – an important pillar for protecting crop and species biodiversity. Our researchers Francesco Riccioli and Roberta Moruzzo, with the help of their action partner representative Cinzia Lenzarini, presented the current situation of custodian farmers in Tuscany and discussed strategies to improve the role of these farmers in the Rural Development Plan.
The in situ conservation of genetic resources at risk of extinction is a critical pillar for preserving the biodiversity of regional crops and species. As previous successful experiences (e.g., Aglione (garlic) della Chiana, Farro (emmer) della Garfagnana) lead the way, the next step for Garfagnana will be to start the valorization of the farmers’ efforts through the activation of a value chain specializing on regional crops and species. Remuneration of the extra effort will help to keep the local knowledge, traditions and methods alive. Protection by utilizing!