Rete Semi Rurali is the Italian network for peasant seeds. It is made up of around 30 agricultural organisations, promoting the dynamic management of agro biodiversity among farmers.
The organisation was created in 2007 by 7 organisations. It currently employs 11 people, guided by the will to diversify our food systems, in order to find answer to the ecological and social crisis due to conventional agriculture.
Rete Semi Rurali maintains its own seed collection and is very active in participatory and decentralized research and breeding, multi-actors food chains development, able to make the difference for changing agricultural practices and promoting seed diversity.
The Rete Semi Rurali is a member of the European Coordination Let's Liberate Diversity!
The Rete Semi Rurali network federates agricultural actors around the need to promote peasant farming and efficient alternatives to intensive monoculture and crops standardization.
Its commitment is to represent and support farmers, scientifically and politically, in the implementation and development of sustainable and organic farming processes.
The main focus of the organization is to coordinate and animate participatory and decentralized breeding and training programs for professional operators (farmers, technicians, researchers) and gardeners, based on knowledge and competence sharing, about soil protection, crops diversification and the active role of farmers in the production, breeding and exchange of seeds.
It also develops educational pathways with schools, specific vocational training courses as well as more basic workshops; for example on how to cook its own bread or pastas from traditional and local seed varieties.
As a national network, the Rete Semi Rurali multiplies activities aiming to foster dialogue and experience sharing between its members.
It is part of many European H2020 (LIVESEED, DIVERSIFOOD, DYNAVERSITY and CERERE) and networks (the European Coordination Let’s Liberate Diversity and the European Consortium for Organic plant breeding, ECO-PB), working on fostering the sector, as its political and legal recognition.
For that purpose, Rete Semi Rurali is active on campaigning and advocating on both national and European levels.
The work and research of Rete Semi Rurali can be followed on its website but also in a monthly informative newsletter, a periodical magazine, meetings and different kind of publishing material.
Rete Semi Rurali maintains a collection of around 300 different old and local cereal varieties.
That collection started thanks to donation from public seed banks and farmers. Today it is also enhanced with the network's own breeding lines.
All the varieties kept by the Rete Semi Rurali network are suitable for organic agriculture.
The Rete Semi Rurali organizes seed exchanging events opened to the public, 3 to 5 times a year.
People also can have access to the Rete Semi Rurali's seed collection by becoming a supporter of the organization.
You can contact the organization for more information.
Rete Semi Rurali is currently working on a membership system to gather more supporters and volunteers.
It is possible to make donations to the organization. More information on its website.