Bioenergy primary issue at Agrilevante
Among the conferences special interest was focused on projects for the recovery of crop varieties native to the Puglia Region whereas seminars set up by Itabia updated technologies for biomass and especially biomethane
The program of conferences on technical issues held during the run of Agrilevante was substantial. Among these meetings were those promoted by the University of Bari and seminars organized by Itabia, the Italian Biomass Association. Four of these events led by the university in Bari involved: a workshop sponsored with the University of Foggia on: Machinery and Plant for Vegetable, Fruit Supply Chains: Technological Innovation at the Service of Enterprise; a meeting: National and Puglia Region Picture of Regulations on Control of Irrigation Machinery Functions, sponsored by Puglia Region, University of Bari and Enama, the National Agricultural Mechanization Agency; a conference on Results of Integrated Projects on Biodiversity and Puglia Crops, managed by the University of Bari DISAAT, the Department of Agro, Environment and Territorial Sciences and Agriplan; the presentation of the BiodiverSO Project. This integrated project taking up biodiversity and Puglia Region crops is managed by the Department of Agro, Environment and Territorial Sciences of the University of Bari. BiodiverSO was created for the purpose of the recovery of vegetable resources on Puglia lands and involves cataloging and compiling the names of all species to build a list of identities. Work is pursued for ex situ germplasm conservation aimed at ensuring a safeguard against the extension of threatened varieties as well as at in situ conservation to maintain present use and the potential of genetic resources. The relateurs explained, and provided clear demonstrations of, the research commitment for the recovery of ancient flavors and ancient knowledge associated with agriculture which could become an important source for crop diversification and value added for Puglia farming enterprises.
On the same issue of productive diversification, but as regards multifunctional agriculture, two Itabia seminars were held: Biomethane: How Farms Can Produce and Sell an Ecological Fuel, and Biomass Resource and Green Plant Treatment, Promising Supply Chains for Mediterranean Agriculture, both intended to enhance the value of biomass as a renewable energy resource. Itabia Vice President Matteo Monni said, “Biomass today is not only the most ecological fuel but also shows greater potential for development. Other than having the largest methane powered inventory in Europe, our country has highly innovative technologies available enabling us to optimize and upgrade biogas plants to biomethane.”
It was underscored in the two seminars that biomass in Italy is not limited to energy use because vegetable residues can be transformed into raw materials for a number of production sector such textiles, bio-materials for panels for the construction industry and the automotive and pharmaceutical industries.
The Agrilevante focus on renewable energy sources was also covered in another Itabia seminar: European Union Tenders and Funds for Developing Renewable Energy Sources (FER) in Agriculture which provided important information on the opportunities in European Union financing offered for these energy sources.