The Metapontum Agro-Food District of Quality: An Innovative Model of Governance for Local Development through Informatics

The Metapontum Agro-Food District of Quality: An Innovative Model of Governance for Local Development through Informatics

Francesco Contò (University of Foggia, Italy), Piermichele La Sala (University of Basilicata, Italy) and Paolo Papapietro (University of Bari, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-621-3.ch007


The aim of this work is to illustrate an innovative pattern of local governance based on the approach of the District at the Rural Development. The territorial context of this model is the Metapontum Agro-Food District of Quality. In line with the needs expressed by area businesses, through the establishment of a Service Centre, able to being as ATM Development and Training Workshop, DID’s project start (Desk for Innovation in the district) in order to transform the district into an innovative tool of governance that can guide the agricultural system and horizontally integrated production food chains. This will mean encouraging, in line with the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007 - 2013 of the Basilicata Region financed by the European Agricultural Rural Development Fund (EAFRD), sector development through the integration of relations between firms, investment in infrastructure, training, research, food safety promotion, and enhancement of agricultural production in the framework of internationalization of markets and innovation of quality-oriented process and products.
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The Metapontum Agro - Food District of Quality Metapontino established by the Basilicata Region with No DCR 855 of 12.10.2004 pursuant to Law R. 1 / 2001, comprises the area of 12 municipalities: Bernalda, Colobraro Ionic Montalbano, Montescaglioso, Nova Siri, Policoro Pisticci Rotondella, San Giorgio Lucano, Scanzano Jonico, Tursi, Valsinni. The area of the district is characterized by some 21,000 hectares of arable land which contribute 80% of vegetable production region.

The “Metapontum Agro-Food District of Quality” is born with the attempt to value an area, than during the last few years, it has made to record an increase of just the economic weight: growing, from the productive and tourist point of view.

The productive woven one is characterized from companies of small dimension, with an elevated concentration and productive specialization of enterprises in the vegetables and fruit production and one realization of typical traditional productions (orange “staccia of Tursi” and “percoco of Tursi”) and quality. In fact, it is in phase of preliminary investigation the request of certification and protection, according to the enforced communitarian norm of brand IGP for strawberries, peaches, nectarines, clementine, apricots. Moreover, it is consolidating the presence of a vegetables and fruits sector, able to emphasize the interaction between production, work, commercialization and distribution of the local farm produce. To this vegetables and fruits chain are connected a lot of other activities and, in the same area, are been consolidated search centres and Agencies (A.A.S.D. “Pantanello” of ALSIA, University of the Basilicata, Metapontum Agrobios, ENEA, etc) in order to support the agricultural and food activities. The vegetables and fruit enterprises involved in the district are 5 thousand, for one SAU of approximately 24 thousand hectares.

The working persons in the area are 8 thousand and they approximately work for 2,2 millions annual days. The P.L.V. is 224 millions of euro. In the territory act 9 enterprises of transformation and beyond 150 operators. It is good also the supply’s concentration of vegetables and fruit, with the presence in the territory of 10 of the local 14 O.P. (organizations of producers). Beyond to fresh vegetables and fruits, the area is characterized from other agricultural and food- productions of excellent quality, with transformed products connected to the vegetables and fruit sector (alimentary conserves), wine’s sector (Matera DOC wines), oil’s sector, cereal’s sector (Matera IGP bread), animal husbandry’s sector (milk’s products).

In the last few years an agricultural tourism is become very popular and it’s obtaining a very high level, with a good integration in the local productive system, in order to improve the agricultural and food- system in the territory.

As stated by the SWOT’s analysis, the strong points and the weak ones are shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
Strong pointsWeak points
• A very large calendar of the fruit and vegetable production’s offer;
• Environment in favor of quality agriculture;
• Fruitful specialization;
• Agricultural propensity of the area;
• Quality and typical productions;
• Associationism (for instance co-operative associations and OP);
• High entrepreneurial skill and dynamism;
• Entrepreneurial competitiveness;
• Research Centres.
• Fragmentation of the productive structure;
• Poor concentration of offer;
• Water resources and weakness of the distribution net;
• Weak contractual position of producers;
• Standardization of production;
• Poor contractual power with credit system;
• Strong extra-regional interdependence for searching tools and raw materials;
• Outdated technology systems;
• Small exploitation of working and transformation system;
• Lack of service and marketing politics;
• Not well-known brand names.
• Regular relationships among the factories;
• Present and involved factories;
• Externality;
• Defined relationships;
• Finishing of the food chain;
• Rationalization of raw sources;
• Increase of the VA and the employment in the food chain and in the complementary fields;
• Rationalization of the work market;
• Logistics and infrastructures;
• Organizing systems.
• Structural weakness of the food chain’s organization;
• Fragmentated offer because of lots of enterprises, goods and workers, which limits the entry skills in markets;
• Competition among the Mediterranean states;
• Competition among other fields.

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