Antonio Onorati

Italian Agriculture and Peasant Agriculture. The Need for a Specific Legal Framework

  • Abstract

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The general economic crisis that has lasted for over ten years in Italy has transformed consumption into a luxury. The article illustrates the quantitative and qualitative elements of peasant or small-scale agriculture. Its weight and its economic, employment, social and cultural value remain hidden from the country and the dominant culture, as well as from public policies. The resulting collective imagination replaces agriculture with food and the peasant with the cook. The peasant becomes an advertising container. The benefits that peasant agriculture guarantees to society need to be appropriately recognized and valued within an appropriate and specific legal framework- This is necessary to ensure the maintenance of a social fabric that otherwise risks disintegrating and that continues to be based the production structure of peasant farming. This structure resists and builds its own alternatives, even in a situation of unjust competition with a dominant agricultural model which wins out thanks to public policies that support it. Peasant agriculture in Italy has many voices, dispersed, invisible, never part of the decision-making processes regarding public policies. An obvious democratic deficit to be filled, a gap that cancels the citizenship rights of millions of people working in the fields.

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