Abbiamo riso per una cosa seria
Italian Agricultural Supply Chain and Focsiv campaign funding family farming interventions around the world

Italian rice as a tool for solidarity and awareness. This idea is based on “We Laughed for a Serious Thing,” a campaign that Filiera Agricola Italiana has been running for many years together with Focsiv, in collaboration with Coldiretti and CEI Missio Foundation. Its goal is to Contribute to the improvement of the socioeconomic conditions of farming communities in Italy and around the world, through the implementation of family farming interventions with a view to sustainability. In fact, the initiative is designed to support and promote peasant labor, the environment and the right to healthy, quality food for all.

Spring 2023 saw the successful implementation of the 21st edition of the campaign: 3000 volunteers, scattered throughout town squares, Campagna Amica markets and parishes, collected offers in exchange for packages of Roma rice, marked with the guarantee seal “Signed By Italian Farmers.” The many donations made live were joined by those sent online, via the platform, the ethical e-commerce dedicated to companies offering quality products. We are now at the stage of implementing the family farming interventions: there are 32 of them and they take place In 23 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. It seemed the best time to tell you what they consist of.

Photo: We laughed for a serious thing

The interventions

The interventions carried out by the 32 Focsiv member organizations Are as interesting as they are valuable. These include.
, which provides support for food self-sufficiency and childhood education in Burundi; its goal is to build elementary school and vocational training centers to help literacy and economic independence for the most vulnerable families. Then there is the intervebto
, responding to the drought emergency in the Horn of Africa.: This year, in Kenya’s West Pokot County, training and economic aid will be provided to 1,000 farmers and women farmers to promote more sustainable management of mango cultivation.

Photo: We laughed for a serious thing

But interventions are not strictly limited to the agricultural sphere. For example, there is “CMSR – Maji Safi – Clean Water.”, which aims to build wells and water facilities To ensure equitable and sustainable access to potable water for the approximately 40,000 residents of Bahi District, in the Dodoma Region, Tanzania. Instead, the intervento “MOCI” supports Urugwiro, a shelter for people with disabilities located in the Nkanka sector of southern Rwanda. While “OSVIC” Promotes women’s empowerment in Kenya, working to provide education, training, and employment for women heads of households in suburban Nanyuki, Laikipia County.

So far, we have mentioned to you interventions in Africa, but as mentioned above, “We Laughed for a Serious Thing” also reaches Latin America, Europe and Asia. Regarding the former, it is worth mentioning.
“ISCOS – Milk Source of Life”
, agrozootechnical development cooperation project carried out in Pucayacu, in the Peruvian Andes., which aims to improve the quality of life in the community starting with the youth, who are helped to train in both agriculture and dairy. E
“PRO.DO.C.S. – Por una vida más digna”
, which funds university scholarships for young women victims of the internal conflict gripping Colombia – particularly single mothers, sex workers and minors at risk of prostitution.

As for Asia, Focsiv carries out interventions such as.
“New Humanity International”
, whose aim is to combat deforestation in Shan State, Myanmar; by establishing groups of farmers in each village, who are specially trained on the SALT (Sloping Agricultural Land Technology) method, it will be possible to both farm on sloping land and conduct small-scale reforestation-with macadamia trees, wild apple trees, avocados, tamarind trees and mango trees. Finally, in Europe, northeast of Albania, there is the “MLFM“, which supports the economic inclusion of 162 vulnerable families residing in the Municipalities of Klos and Mat, through the provision of vocational training activities, support for the development of agribusiness production activities (nurseries and vineyards) and the construction of water facilities such as aqueducts and water storage facilities.

Photo: We laughed for a serious thing

A global network of solidarity and awareness

“Twenty-one years after the first rice parcel of the ‘We Laughed for a Serious Thing’ Campaign, we are more aware today that what we were advocating then and in recent years is as crucial as ever: Change production mode and logic of the global market, especially agribusiness, and also our way of life” says Ivana Borsotto, Focsiv president.

In this sense, this is much more than a campaign-it is a true global awareness movement, uniting farmers, volunteers and consumers in a great network of solidarity and awareness. Focsiv’s Roma rice with the “Signed By Italian Farmers” seal of guarantee concretely represents the project: it upholds the value of typical local products, the security that comes from transparency and the importance of adopting more environmentally and human-friendly farming methods.