Geodaysit 2023

Evelia Schettini


Fabiana Convertino, Evelia Schettini, Annachiara Dell'Acqua

Agricultural activities are responsible of huge amounts of solid wastes. Agro-residues are a large quantity. Their utilization as a source of biomass is a great opportunity in the optic of the spread of the circular economy model. Among the agro-residues, those coming from olive groves, vineyard and fruit plantations can be particularly relevant. Biomass residues from agricultural pruning represent a typical case of agro-residues yearly produced and hardly ever used as a resource for production of energy, biochemical or other products. Mismanagement practices and especially burning of those agricultural waste are very common. These cause serious human and environmental health problems and threaten food and energy security.
For a more sustainable and circular approach in agriculture, agro-residues, as those from pruning, should not be considered as waste, but as a precious resource. To pursue this aim, there is a need of overcoming the technical and logistic problems that farmers experience. A proper management system for biomass from pruning residues is mandatory.
This study pretends to contribute to the development of a proper wise collection system for agricultural biomass from pruning. The approach based on a territorial analysis using a software GIS is followed.
At first, the study investigates the types, production processes and possible optimal sustainable uses of biomass residues, highlighting the main issues of the most spread practices. Then, the objective is to map the production of the agricultural pruning residues on the territory. The attention is focused on an area particularly suited to agriculture in the Apulia Region (Italy). By using pruning indices for each crop and the land use map, the study manages to quantify and localize the pruning residues. Based on this, the best position of the collection centres is defined. The obtained maps can be easily used and updated. The study points out the power of the GIS tools for this purpose. The results of this study represent a first important step towards the improvement of the agro-residues management system and can help policymakers and stakeholders to promote more sustainable actions.

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