Civic Agriculture in Calabria: What Next ?
The importance of agricultural sector in the regional economy (4%) is still higher than in Italy (2,1%) and Europe (1,7%). Demografich trends are negative across the region especially in the most remote areas where essential services are lacking. Overall the quality of services in Calabria is lower than North and Central Italy. Another key element is the criminal organisation. Its control of territory is pervasive.
As such, without commited efforts by local, regional and national institutions and civil society long-term sustainable development efforts will continue to yield below minimum results.
This paper presents experiences of civic agriculture in Calabria and illustrates different aspects of this experiences: processes of re-territorialisation, social inclusion, the reuse of land that has been confiscated from the mafia.
The paper illustrates the learning curve of these experiences; their relative strengths and weaknesses are assessed on the basis of the principles of civil economy (Bruni, Zamagni, 2004); specifically, the aspects that are analysed are the relationships between reciprocity, freedom and individual creativity. These experiences demonstrate that:
1) giving and reciprocity may be ways into the market;
2) social cooperative companies can be a model for territorial development in Calabria;
3) it is a complex development model: social cooperatives are multi-stakeholder organisations that require the involvement of different participants and complexity in the network of relationships.
This paper is a moment of reflection for the proposition of public policies.