The Green Path project is Agriges’ answer to the new challenges of modern agriculture: producing more and producing healthy food. The project involves Agriges’ collaboration with research institutes, test centres, universities, cooperatives and farms for the development of safe and sustainable products capable of maximising crop results while reducing the use of potentially polluting chemicals.
• Produce more and in a sustainable manner
• Produce healthy to ensure high quality and safety food
“Food security” and “food safety” can be considered as two sides of the same coin, two terms that refer, respectively, to the economic and social security of having enough food to live ("food security") and to the hygienic-sanitary requirement to consume healthy food and drinking water ("food safety").
According to the FAO report "The future of food and agriculture, trends and challenges", the estimated world population in 2050 will reach 10 billion people. The demand for agricultural goods will grow by 50% compared to 2013. One half of the available land has already been used, and we will need 50% more energy and 30% more water. About 700 million people are in extreme poverty today, 800 million are chronically hungry and 2 billion suffer from a micronutrient deficiency. More than 600 million people will still be undernourished in 2030. In the meantime:
• agricultural production is declining
• competition for soil and water resources is increasing
• the increase in production is hampered by the degradation of natural resources and the spread of pests and cross-border diseases
• food losses and waste account for a significant percentage of production
• climate change affects mainly the regions where food resources are not enough to meet the needs of the entire population
The price is no longer the only parameter to choose what to put on the table every day. Consumers are increasingly interested in considering product quality characteristics, what lies behind production, i.e. whether a product is grown while respecting the environment and the workers, thus safeguarding the rural territory and the communities that live in it. This is finding highlighted in the 9th Report of the Observatory on Innovation and Sustainability of Agricultural Production prepared by Agri2000. In food consumption, the most relevant aspect that emerges is certainly that of a new approach to food, characterised by an ever-increasing attention to the health aspects of food; consumers have become increasingly aware that proper nutrition is the most appropriate tool to prevent and manage physical dysfunctions such as excess cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. It is clear that the consumer wants healthy, certified products, made in a clear and transparent supply chain. The presence of contaminants such as phosphites (or phosphorous acid), chlorates, perchlorates, chlorocresol etc. in fruit and vegetables has become an increasingly frequent problem for organic supply chains - and not only for them.
The relationship between sustainability and production systems is an issue of great interest to many of the main international institutions, including FAO. In order to achieve the increase in production required to guarantee the food security of the entire world population over the coming years an increase in productivity and in the efficiency of use of resources available is necessary. Furthermore, climate change will increasingly affect agricultural production with an increased frequency of droughts and floods. The traditional agricultural production system, which requires an intensive use of inputs and resources – and has caused massive deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions - cannot guarantee sustainable production. This is the Agriges’ challenge: to provide technical means aimed at enabling to obtain abundant yields, sustainable from an environmental point of view and at the same time safe for nutrition. Ultimately, this is the very heart of the Green Path project.