‘Adopt an ancient olive tree’ to save the territory


It is called “Adopt an ancient olive tree” and it is a project of the historical web portal Frantoionline.it is that it aims to protect the olive trees no longer profitable, recover the abandoned olive groves for many years that are often destroyed by summer fires, and preserve the olive trees cultivated in territories with high hydrogeological risk.


In fact, according to some recent statistics, a quarter of Italian olive groves are in a state of neglect, and when an olive grove (especially if it is secular) is abandoned it risks being lost forever, because it becomes a thicket and is easy prey of fires, and subsequently by landslides.


So why is it necessary to adopt it? “Several Italian olive-growing areas – the promoters explain – are characterized by centuries-old olive groves. They are often not compatible with the normal techniques of modern olive growing, based on the research of the optimization of the costs of the main cultivation operations (pruning and harvesting above all), and therefore they are destined to complete abandonment. The lack of adequate management techniques or of valid alternatives (reconversion / restructuring, alternative use of production) risks to determine a progressive abandonment of secular olive groves and of the territory, including the depopulation of small villages “.


What implications does the abandonment of olive trees entail?


  1. A)      SOCIAL: in the face of non-profitable revenues for over a decade, the abandonment of secular olive groves is in progress, which in the past were a source of income for many farmers and therefore useful to avoid the depopulation of small rural villages in the “Bel Paese”
  2. B) ENVIRONMENTAL: the abandonment of olive groves leads to greater fire hazards and, in general, decreased environmental protection, which leads to widespread hydrogeological instability.


  1. C) LANDSCAPE: abandonment involves the loss of the Italian landscape, where the secular olive groves have an undoubted naturalistic and landscape function not yet sufficiently exploited.



The advantages of joining the project


The project “Adopt a secular olive” is an initiative that aims to contribute:


1) to promote the culture of mono-varietal organic extra-virgin olive oil obtained from olives from native cultivars (over 500 cultivars to be protected throughout Italy, in 18 Regions out of 20) with high concentrations of polyphenols;


2) safeguarding olive trees that are no longer profitable, recovering the abandoned olive groves for several years, which are often destroyed by summer fires, and preserve the olive trees cultivated in areas with high hydrogeological risk;


3) to develop an eco-sustainable agriculture, to promote rural tourism aimed at enhancing the history, the rural culture and the small villages in the hinterland (which risk disappearing);


4) safeguarding the landscape, the heritage of ancient flavors and rural traditions (put to the test by globalization and climate change);


5) to favor the generational change in agriculture / olive growing and to expand the existing small farms / oil mills run by young farmers / millers;


6) to protect and promote the main product of the Mediterranean Diet, recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;


7) Finally, through the distance adoption of a secular olive tree you are entitled to the certified purchase of organic extra virgin olive oil, produced from olives harvested from ancient olive trees.


Font: www.frantoionline.it

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