EU support for environmental investments
Next to many hours of sun, occasional heavy rainfalls become more and more typical for the Sicilian climate, sometimes bringing more than 100mm of water in a few hours. For us and many Sicilian farmers those rains often imply severe damages to the fields and roads on the land. Often years of ploughing have ruined the soil and led to enormous erosion. Necessary investments into responsible water management and the maintenance of biodiversity are often prohibitively expensive as in the short run they are completely unproductive.
Recognizing the importance of agriculture in achieving its environmental goals, the EU has dedicated funds to support “non-productive investments aimed at limiting erosion and hydrogeological instability and restoring the traditional landscape”.
Funding for il circolo’s olive groves granted
Last year Ongombo, that produces most of il circolo’s olives, participated in a tender of the PSR Sicilia 2014/2020 – Measure 4 operation 4.4.d and has been granted the funding. We at il circolo are excited about this opportunity because those interventions would help the olive grove to become more regenerative, and would not only improve the region’s environmental footprint but also protect Sicily’s cultural heritage.
A focus on traditional landscaping and biodiversity
With the help of these funds the following interventions can be executed:
- To protect the steep slopes of the grove and to protect biodiversity, wooden trellis will be installed and planted with indigenous Sicilian ground cover plants with strong roots.
- To rehabilitate degraded terraces and historical landscape, traditional dry stone walls and verges will be restored.
- Reconstructing pruning will recover centuries-old olive and carob trees.