Palazzo Italia dedicated the day of Monday, September 21, to Social Agriculture that contributes to the helping people in difficulty find employment. In his speech José Mujica, former President of Uruguay, explained that “in a rich world where wealth is not distributed fairly, Social Agriculture can be a haven to place people who cannot find a job. "Participating in the morning debate were Maurizio Martina and Andrea Olivero, respectively Minister and Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, Bruno Antonio Pasquino, General Commissioner of Expo Milano 2015, Nilima Munda and Father Luigi Paggi, for the project "For a pink sari", Luca Sani, President of the Agriculture Committee, Massimo Fiorio, Italian Member of Parliament, Ilaria Signoriello, national spokesperson of the National Forum on Social Agriculture, Father Franco Rubbianesi, Founder of the Capodarco Community, Marco Berardo Di Stefano, President of the Network of social farms, Giancarlo Caselli, President of the Scientific Committee of the Observatory on crime in 'agriculture, John Fear, INAIL, Maurizio Devescovi, CEO of Allianz, Roberto Moncalvo, President of Coldiretti, Dino Scanavino, CIA, Mario Guidi, Confagricoltura, Roberto Cavaliere, Copagri, and Giorgio Mercuri, Alliance of Cooperatives, Mario Baccini, President of the National Microcredit Institute, and Letizia Moratti, president of the Ethics Committee of the sponsors and of the Technical Operating Committee of the National Institution for Microcredit.
Social Agriculture as a new tool for citizenship
Minister Martina highlighted the importance of binding "Expo Milano 2015” to the theme of Social Agriculture as a new tool of citizenship. And it is with the need to change the agriculture models that this Universal Exposition is increasing the level of awareness of citizens. Social Agriculture is a step forward to make these themes become the protagonists. Next week - concluded Martina - the UN will discuss the new objectives of the millennium, and the next consignment of the Milan Charter will allow Italy to be a protagonist in the international debate on agricultural models even after Expo Milano 2015".
Disobedience is life!
Nilima Munda and Father Luigi Paggi presented the project “per una sari rosa” (For a pink sari) developed in to support the Munda tribe in Bangladesh where women are forced to marry at the age of 13. "Today, girls have set up a cooperative with which they can access forms of micro-credit for farming and trade, - explained Father Paggi - engaging in tree planting and developing a system of health insurance. We encourage them to disobey, and even escape from home."
Agriculture's contribution to the development of social welfare systems
Luca Sani and Massimo Fiorio explained to the public the key points of the new Law on Social Agriculture, approved with a popular initiative and that will be enforced on Wednesday, September 23. "The law grants a priority for the lease of public lands and free concessions are provided. In addition, the public administrations will be active in the marketing of products from crops obtained through Social Agriculture. This way, agriculture is presented as new model of alternative welfare.” Don Franco Rubbianesi spoke about the initiatives that the Community of Capodarco has been pursuing since 1978. "Social Agriculture allows us to create a community welfare, to help those young depressed people who have little hope for the future, by returning to cultivating the land. Marco Berardo Di Stefano said that he was certain of "the saving of public resources that can be obtained through this social-work reintegration, thanks also to training programs, teaching environmental education and effectiveness of therapy assisted with animals." Giancarlo Caselli, the farmer, entrepreneur said that the provision of rehabilitative services should also be included: “Social Agriculture has been relegated to the background for years, while today this opening provides access to atypical initiatives by dealing with leisure time and on well-being. Moncalvo wrapped up the morning session by reiterating the concept that “these companies can bring multifunctional benefits and a savings for public authorities, even in terms of reducing the medical treatments that need to be provided."
Microcredit, Social Agriculture and Developing Countries
Mario Baccini opened the afternoon session by presenting the data on microcredit in Italy. “From 2011 to 2014, there was an increase of demand and 34,000 people made use of this tool, of which 41percent was in the form of production microcredit without collateral”. During the meeting, Letizia Moratti spoke about the over 500,000 family-run farms in the world. “We need to work on new economic models that, with the discussions at the United Nations for the 2030 agenda, shall become the goals of sustainable development. The problem today is access to credit and the World Bank argues that by solving this issue, Africa could triple its gross domestic product.”