In the Drôme département of France, the Biovallée project has set a goal of 50% of farms becoming certified as organic producers by 2040. As part of this goal, a local community has purchased agricultural lands to provide access to four new farmers.
‘When you do not come from the agricultural world, access to land is difficult,’ explained Jean Serret, a local leader involved in the project. ‘But in our area, we had the desire to develop small farms with high added value that guarantee a decent wage. By purchasing this eight hectare property, we are helping to set up vegetable farmer, two sheep farmers, and an aromatic and medicinal plant producer.’
The lands are leased as part of an ‘environmental lease’ in order to guarantee farming methods that respect the environment. The goal of the local community is to develop agricultural activity all while making sure to preserve natural resources to guarantee quality of life to inhabitants.
‘All of the products are sold locally, in institutional catering and in the farm shops which also offers products from around the area,’ explained Serret.
The purchase of the lands cost about 450,000€, with 200,000€ coming from the European Union, which finances numerous projects to promote the economic attractiveness of local areas.