We have shared the news of a focus group among University students previously in our social media: that eTOMATO has in fact organized a data collection on the themes of multifunctional agriculture. Questions on what MA means and what it should mean have been addressed to soon-to-be experts of agriculture and related fields.

Last week instead, the eTOMATO project has met experts from academia and private organizations.

Focus of the discussion has been on the ways it is possible to improve academic educational offer, for a better understanding and management of multifunctional agriculture. This, to reach the project main goal of creating the farmers our agri-food system needs: the “farmers 2.0”.

The results collected will be presented in the associated deliverables, foreseen for publishing in the next academic year. In the meantime, get to know those professionals who have participated:

Francesco Contò  is the Dean of the Department of Economics of the University of Foggia, in which he is Full Professor in Agricultural Economics. He has a great deal experience in the field of Multifunctional Agriculture both as Professor and Entrepreneur. He has led many scientific committees committed to develop policy addressing and researches concerning agri-food and health economics issues. He is an author of over 260 scientific publications. He took part to many scientific national and international conferences as keynote speaker, presenter, discussant. He has been the scientific Coordinator of the PhD course “Health Food Innovation and Management”. He is member of the council of a PhD programme in Health Economics. He has been the supervisor of many PhD students. He is the vice-President of Confagricoltura Bari. During his long career, he has led many European, national and regional projects focused on Food, Agricultural and Rural Development domains. He is the scientific coordinator of eTOMATO.

Michele Lacenere is the President of Confagricoltura Bari, that is the Labour Union of the farmers of the metropolitan area of Bari. He leads his old family farm specialized and market leader in the field of zootechnics. During his career, he has nurtured interest in Multifunctional Agriculture because he thinks is the only way to make sustainable the agriculture is to diversify activities. His long and strong practical experience represents an added value enhancing the quality of the building eTOMATO educational course.

Caterina Tricase is a Full Professor in Commodity Science at the Department of Economics of the University of Foggia. Her teaching and research activities focus on environmental sustainability of goods and production processes in particular LCA, ecological footprints (Carbon and Water), energy policies to supply the cities, and environmental issues aimed at lowering environmental impacts of economic activities. During her career, she has supervised many PhDs candidates and led many research groups.

Mariarosaria Lombardi is an assistant professor in Commodity Sciences at the Department of Economics, University of Foggia where, since June 2017, she has been representative for the Third Mission. She deals with different items concerning the agri-food sector: from environmental and socio-economic assessment of agri-energy to the emerging models of social innovation. This latter topic derives from her personal experience from 2015 as member of Vazapp, a rural hub located in the province of Foggia. Since 2009, she has been the scientific coordinator of the Human Resource Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) activities and liaison with the European Commission for the University of Foggia. She is currently (a.y. 2018-2019) engaged in the university course “Commodity production and innovation”, Master degree in Marketing Management.

Mariantonietta Fiore is aggregate professor in Agricultural economics at the University of Foggia. She held the position of Expert/Reviewer in Agricultural economics (Ministry of Agriculture Policies-Ministry of University), Junior Residential Expert (Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea) and Associate Fellow of the EMRBI. She took part in many international conferences as keynote speaker, presenter and discussant. She is author of over 80 scientific publications and acts as guest editor and Member of Editorial Boards of eminent Journals and academic juries. She is vice-scientific coordinator of the SKIN project (H2020) and is scientific manager of national and EU projects. Finally, she gained several scientific awards and professional honours.

Nicola Faccilongo is a Researcher in Applied Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of Foggia. His researches focus on natural resources management by policy implementation, rural development, and related environmental issues linked to the challenge of increasing the sustainability in socio-economic systems. He participated to many international conferences presenting scientific papers. He also holds strong expertise as project manager in European, national and regional projects.

Gianluigi De Pascale is a Research Fellow in Applied Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of Foggia. His PhD journey focused on policies to bolster Multifunctional Agriculture by transferring knowledge as prerequisite to build up skills enabling economic operators to be more sustainable in acting for entrepreneurship. His PhD studies inspired eTOMATO. He attended many scientific conferences as presenter. He also deals with activities in European, national and regional projects. He is the project manager of eTOMATO.

Danilo Lolatte is the Executive Director of CIA Puglia. CIA stands for Confederation of Italian Farmers and accountant. Danilo has strong experience in the fields linked to the local development and policy planning. He led the activities for regional rural development of a Local Action Group.