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PSR SICILIA 2007-2013

On the 18th of  February 2008 the European Commission approved the Rural Development Programme (RDP) of Sicily for 2007-2013.

The PSR will allow the implementation of the actions needed to support the development of agriculture, food and forestry, and the conservation and enhancement of the environment and sustainable development of rural areas in the region over the next seven years.

The regional strategy aims, on the one hand, the strengthening of the productive system and its competitive relauuch, on the other hand, the integration of territorial components, social and economic environment, and the enhancement of a multifunctional role in agriculture. The program also encourages the adoption of integrated planning courses designed to facilitate a more organic interventions and a higher level of concentration of resources available through the combined use of measures and / or the association between multiple recipients. Consistent with this objective, the program aims at strengthening the role of local partnerships, using the "Leaders" as a privileged instrument for the implementation and development of local programs. The program focuses on four "Aces" and 30 "Measurements", which define the scope of the regional rural areas.

The first axis, "Improving the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry sectors", aims to encourage the implementation of measures taken to increase

the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry sector. The priorities identified are:

• Improved business skills and technical professional staff and rejuvenating the business staff, with training, information, advice, transfer of skills.

• Modernization and development of a system of competitive enterprises, in a logic of supply chain and with a strong orientation to the markets.

• Strengthening and expansion of infrastructure networks road, irrigation and energy

• Promotion and development of quality agricultural production recognized, including biological

The integration of operations is in particular pursued by some specific tools such as the "youth package", which allows you to promote the start of farming by young people, with the creation of a business plan that maps to the settlement premium priority access to one or more investment measures.

Another important instrument of integration is represented by the "chain of packages"

allowing to support project initiatives in which they are involved more stakeholders in the development of production chains.

The second axis, "Improving the environment and the countryside", aims to enhance the role that agriculture plays for the environment and the countryside.

The priorities identified are:

• Conservation of biodiversity and protection and diffusion of agro-forestry systems with high natural value

• Protection and sustainability management of territories

• Protection of soil and water resources

• Increased production of biomass and the adoption and dissemination practices for the reduction of greenhouse gases.

The measures provided in this Axis allow farmers to promote sustainable use of agricultural land and forestry and the permanence of the productive fabric in mountainous areas and disadvantaged region. Moreover, this measure promotes the contribution of agriculture to the achievement of Kyoto targets, providing specific contributions to the production of bioenergy.

The actions planned in the third axis, "Quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy", are aimed at improving the quality of life in rural areas and promoting diversification of economic activities, to create and consolidate employment. They are identified in three priorities:

• Improvement of rural territories for businesses and local populations

• Maintenance and / or creation of employment opportunities and income in rural areas

• Promotion of training, skills acquisition and animation of the territories.

The measures activated link to support investment for the creation and development of business initiatives in activities complementary to agriculture, such as rural tourism, but also in non-agricultural activities, in addition to encouraging the increase of services and infrastructure and upgrading and protection of rural areas, training activities, information and entertainment.

The fourth axis, "Implementation of the Leader", is a methodological axis, through which the region is to promote greater integration of initiatives, both at the local and chain level. In particular, the Board is aimed at strengthening the local planning and management capacity and enhance the internal resources of the territories. The measures are implemented by local action groups (LAG) made up of a public-private partnership that representative through the Local Development Plan (LDP) expresses local integrated development strategies for their own territory.

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