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Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy

Research activity

Research activity

The CREA Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy carries out conjunctural and structural analyses on the national agri-food system and on the impact of policy instruments. A large part of the activities has been focused on rural territories, bioeconomy and circular economy, entrepreneurial models in agriculture, labour and gender issues, structural development of farms.

The Centre manages the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), as the liaison body between Italy and the EU; it is the implementing body of the National Rural Network Programme (NRNP) which accompanies the European rural development policies; it contributes to the Operational Plan for Agriculture (POA) with technical-scientific support activities for the programming of irrigation investments and the integration with environmental policies.

Moreover, the Centre realises studies on different thematic fields, divided into several research projects, most of which in collaboration with other institutional bodies, universities, national and international research institutes and private subjects.

Agricultural policy

Agricultural policy
The EU Agricultural Policy is the main reference framework supporting the primary sector and the European agricultural development model. Its impact on the agricultural system is relevant not only in terms of production and market objectives, but also concerning territorial balance, enhancement of quality and traceability of products and production processes, maintenance of the agricultural activity in marginal rural areas and the areas with natural disadvantages. The Centre supports the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forests (MASAF) in the analysis and monitoring of the CAP, contributing to the achievement of a shared position with the Italian Regions and the Autonomous Provinces, for the development of a smart, resilient, sustainable and competitive national agricultural sector, which might ensure, at the same time, fair and more targeted support for farmers. Besides a wide experience in the national and regional field, CREA also boasts remarkable participation in EU policies’ evaluation projects.

Rural areas and territorial studies

Rural areas and territorial studies
An in-depth knowledge of the rural territories and the related policies is part of the consolidated background of the Centre, thanks to a network of projects, analyses, technical support and human capital provided by the Central headquarter and the regional branches of the Centre.

Use of natural resources

Use of natural resources
The sustainable use of natural resources represents one of the main themes in the contemporary approach to the primary sector and food-system, considering the increasing role of farmers in the management and care for the environment and territories. The research in this field aims, on the one hand, at creating and validating agri-environmental and socio-economic indicators for measuring the impact on natural resources and territories; on the other hand, it aims at making the interventions in agriculture more consistent with natural resources protection requirements and attentive to human health. The Centre contributes to define development lines capable to combine the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. Particular attention is paid to Bioeconomy. A special focus is given to efficient use of resources and the development of production systems with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, which may adapt and mitigate the negative effects of climate changes. The Centre holds an Observatory on Forests and Afforestation Policies, that works in synergy with the activities carried out by the Forestry and Wood Research Centre as well as extensive studying activity on the sustainable use of water resources in agriculture. Moreover, it carries out studies on soil degradation and erosion, climate change and desertification.

Competitiveness of the agri-food system

Competitiveness of the agri-food system
The competitiveness on international markets is rapidly evolving, due to increasingly accelerated globalisation processes. The Italian agri-food system, which plays a leading role in the national trade balance, is traditionally very open and it compares with a global market where, on the one hand, new stakeholders are involved and, on the other one, important multi-lateral and bilateral agreements, which regulate its functioning, have been signed. In such a context, the themes related to the competitiveness of the national agri-food production get prominent relevance. The study activities, aimed at analysing the trend in the Italian agri-food system are strategic in terms of: changes in the quality of products and productive processes; quality competition vs. price competition of Italian products, with particular attention to the “Made in Italy”; employment, migrations and new entrepreneurship.

Knowledge and Innovation

Knowledge and Innovation
Knowledge and innovation are crucial issues for Italian agriculture since they represent important growth and development factors for overcoming some structural constraints of our agriculture. The ongoing analyses deal with both the public and private components, taking into account the national, regional and European contexts. Through the provision of economic and social analysis tools, the Centre contributes to remark the need of innovation for homogeneous groups of subjects, to provide support for institutions in the large-scale programming of public interventions. Similar interest is reserved for monitoring actions in terms of production, economic and social results, deriving from the adoption of innovations on both micro and macro scale. The objective consists in promoting a general assessment of needs and of innovations’ impact in the different agricultural contexts and in developing quantitative and qualitative investigation methodologies.

Agriculture and society

Agriculture and society
The strand of study on social and cultural changes, related to the agricultural world, is focused both on foodstuff production and services and socio-environmental goods made by farms. Worthy of remark is the study activity concerning the relationship between city and countryside, the new marketing methods that shorten the distance between society and productive world, ethical and social value food production, networking among the different agricultural and agri-food stakeholders, with particular attention to social inclusion and the creation of new entrepreneurship.

Three-year Research Plan 2018-2020 - Objectives of the Centre

Three-year Research Plan 2018-2020 - Objectives of the Centre

Agrinatura

History of CREA – Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy

AGRICULTURAL POLICIES AND BIOECONOMY

History of the centre

The origin of CREA Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy dates back to the merging of INEA (National Institute of Agricultural Economics) with CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics). INEA was founded by Arrigo Serpieri in 1928, with Royal Decree n. 1418 of 10th May 1928, aimed at carrying out surveys and studies of agricultural and forestry economy, following the changes of the new Italian agro-industrial system.

Since the 1930s onwards, the versatility of the Institute is witnessed by a set of important inquiries, representing the first steps of the applied social sciences in our Country in the post-war period, period of the agricultural reform. In the 1960s, its extraordinary versatility was instead evidenced by an active involvement in the setting-upof the CAP’s cognitive tools.

The Centre has offices in all Italian regions.This allows to foster significantlythe promotion of a culture on the agrarian accountancy, at a national level,as it represents the liaison between the Italian State and the European Commission in the creation and management of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN).

In the 1970s, it suffered the crisis of the entire agricultural sector.However, between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the following decade, it gained a new centrality thanks to its ability to capture the spirit of the new CAP.The Centre has therefore assimilated, in the economic-agricultural research, the major themes of environment, sustainability, natural resources and local development, then transposed by the new Statute of 2005 and by the following regulations.

In this phase, the Institute has gained an ever-increasing visibility at community, national and regional institutions, thanks to an intense support activity to policy decisions and analysis of the socio-economic contexts in the development of the primary sector and of the agri-food system.  As from 2015, INEA was therefore merged into CREA, with its rich cultural and professional background. Today CREA is the major agricultural research Institute in Italy and one of the most important in Europe.