Rural Project Manager

Rural Project Manager

We know Sandro Bucciarelli for his stubbornness and for the immense love he nourishes for his territory, two qualities that have made the difference in his professional career, already a member of the ICEA Board of Directors and head of the office “Corporate crises, sector and territorial “of the Economic Development Department of the Abruzzo Region.

Sandro was awarded in Matera during the 17th National Congress # AgroFor2030 The Global Goals, among the winners of the “Agronomist Doctor, Forestry Doctor, sustainable food designer” competition, with his “Rural Project Manager” project. We took the opportunity to congratulate him and ask him some questions.

How did the project start?

I deal with crisis areas, and unfortunately the earthquake of August 24, 2016 which affected four regions, affected precisely the areas that already previously lived mainly from agricultural activities or small transformation, which for morphological reasons already lacked large routes communication. It is clear that, in addition to the structural damage, the earthquake also created a real earthquake in the economic fabric of that area. Over time, however, I realized that the funds received by the Abruzzo Region, as by the other regions affected by the earthquake, did not leave their mark. I’ll explain.
The funds that arrived after the earthquake were used precisely for economic recovery, but the 146 projects presented – however virtuous – would not have changed the situation, there would have been no return. They would remain “cathedrals in the desert”, in this case in the mountains. We needed something, or rather someone, who could manage to systematize the territory’s own resources, in order to guarantee a supply chain entirely built on the territory itself, the proceeds of which remained here and made the local economy grow.

Here, precisely who builds these supply chains?

This professional figure is exactly what we have called the Rural Project manager in the project. The territory lacked an “animation” figure, that is someone capable of reconstructing the economic fabric. I asked myself who could hold the position of “rural animator”, at the same time put together the various partners of the territory, build links and build supply chains, read the territory with its natural characteristics, put down a project on the territory and shape it based to local specialties. Looking at my own experience, I identified these skills united in the professionalism of the agronomist.
The agronomist has all the characteristics, eclectic and multipurpose, he knows how to read the territory, he deals with agricultural and forestry production, breeding and supply chains, controls. So we built a project around this new figure of “Rural Project Manager”, an agronomist with “an extra gear”, capable of restoring the economic fabric of areas in which an earthquake occurred, but not only. Italy is a fragile country, we have experience of earthquakes, floods, landslides and landslides. The Rural Project Manager can intervene in all these situations. The project was accepted and included among those dedicated to the enhancement of internal areas. And so the first days of November I was called to Matera to collect the prestigious award.

A great satisfaction, therefore.

Of course, we have shown that we are not only sad bureaucrats but that we know how to grasp small aspects that otherwise would be lost. This victory is the clear demonstration that even if submerged by the cards, useful and effective things can be achieved for the territory, when working well and in a team. This is a collective goal: it would not have been possible without my group of agronomists from ICEA Abruzzo. A dozen professionals, a family of colleagues, united in respect and esteem, with common goals, because real competition is out. And it is to my team that I dedicate the prize.

And now what will be the next step?

The realization of specific training courses for agronomists on the territory, that is bringing the trainers here. This is also the way to become a Rural Project Manager, because often universities go out with all the necessary theoretical notions, but with little practical experience. On the other hand, there is a need for a designer, a “local animator”, agronomists who know where and how to look for funds for the territory, who know the existing supply chains, who know how to build new ones, and who know how to put together with local and non-local stakeholders. In short, the Rural Project Manager will be this: a central figure in the economic development of crisis areas, operating as soon as possible. The training will therefore be an “on-site training”, within the regional federations, also with external teachers: you have to go to the periphery, live and animate – in fact – the territory. The award was sponsored by Unicredit, so they were asked first of all to make scholarships available for graduate agronomists who would like to take an interest in this matter. Now let’s see.

One last question: the idea of ​​the supply chain to be built in the area sounds familiar, it has already happened with the Biopan project, right?

Exact. A couple of years ago we realized the Biopan project, to produce Abruzzo bread, liera da costruire.