La Junquera (Spain), i.e. the partner farm affiliated to the University of Granada (Spain) in the eTOMATO project has been recognized in the Spanish national press as an example of good practice.
Last week, it was published how Alfonso Chico de Guzmán, a trained farmer, manages to recover the fertility of the land in a semi-arid environment of southeastern Spain. Link to the article: https://www.abc.es/contentfactory/post/2021/04/16/productores-sostenibles-el-agricultor-que-se-ha-propuesto-devolver-la-vida-a-su-tierra-y-lo-esta-consiguiendo/?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F
The work philosophy at La Junquera is very clear: “We are managers of an inherited asset and we have a moral obligation to bequeath it in better conditions,” Chico de Guzmán points out in the report. The farm is a family legacy that has been passed down from generation to generation. However, the land lost fertility every year and Alfonso began to investigate new regenerative agriculture techniques to restore the health of the land. The process has consisted of incorporating new crops: more varieties of cereals, pistachios, vegetables, almond trees, aromatic plants, olive trees, apple trees, etc. In addition to these new products, herds of native sheep and cows in danger of extinction are introduced.
In the end, “part of the solution is to take the best of traditional and modern practices,” says Chico de Guzmán. In the last decade, La Junquera has enhanced the quality of soil, water and biodiversity. Simultaneously, the economic incomes of the farm has also improved considerably.
La Junquera is a good example of the positive impact of multifunctional agriculture initiatives as a transformation tool in a global context. At the same time, the news is an example of how society is increasingly aware of and interested in this view.