Background Information

Core of this project is the understanding that the valorization of what is currently considered as a “waste” by farmers and relevant stakeholders, may contribute to a significant improvement of both the economic revenues of agricultural entrepreneurs and the environmental sustainability of their productions. Indeed, if adequately managed and entrained in a proper value chain, the agricultural waste – both organic, coming from mowing/pruning, animal manure, agro-industrial co-products/by-products, etc., and non-organic, like plastics employed for crop protection (mulching, tunnel, greenhouse, etc.), irrigation pipes/tubes, silage film, crates, ropes, containers of chemicals for plant protection, etc. – may reveal a new resource, to be valorized in the framework of a circular economy approach.


Without proper solutions for the end-of-life management, the impact on the environment of these materials, that cannot be managed as a household waste, is negative and the footprint is deteriorated. Although the farmer is responsible for the end-of-life management, he is not able to do it alone. The farmer plays an important role in the recyclability, depending on the waste preparation at farm and his participation in the collection scheme. Farmers, as well as other stakeholders involved in the relevant value chain, deserve solutions from good practices, technical references, and collection schemes for a sustainable end-of-life management and a foot-print reduction. This requires a specific training for these categories of workers, that is currently not existing all over Europe.

The Overall Aim

Aim of this Project is the contribution to the development of regional eco-systems directly providing a valuable input to the economy by integrating work-based learning, thanks to a Quadruple-Helix approach involving Public Institutions (Regional/Local Ministries/Agencies), RTD performers/ VET providers, Private stakeholders (Farmers Associations, Collectors/Recycling Firms/Associations, etc.) and the Civil Society (NGO, No-profit Association, etc.). 


Core of the Project will be the modelling, implementation and validation of the Project “Rural Labs” in which, under the co-ordination of some of the most important Universities of the Mediterranean Europe, expert in agricultural waste management, the farmers and other relevant stakeholders will be trained. There, new ways of training will be explored, starting from an on-site training, and implementing new ICT tools (e.g., video-tutorials), to be produced for the sake of a larger audience of trained people, working in the Project Countries as well as in the rest of Europe.