Following his lecture at AUR on the International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty, Antonio Onorati invited the MA Food Studies students to visit his farm in the city of Rome. He told the interesting story about how his family obtained 8 hectares and a small house in 1958, as a result of the 1952 agrarian reform that benefited 1 million Italians in Tuscany, Lazio and Puglia. In addition to their owned property, the family rents 20 hectares of land. Mr. Onorati pointed out that in Italy there are 3.5 million small-scale farmers, small-scale in Italy being defined by the level of income (below 50.000 Euro per year).

The Onorati farm is about 20 km from Rome but it is still within the city limits. The farm is organic, growing wheat and barley, with 150 sheep, seven pigs (nero-reatino), geese and chickens. It also has an orchard for own consumption. The family only uses manure as fertilizer and produces its own seeds. Two members of the family now work on the farm, in addition to their still active 90 and 93 years old parents. To make ends meet, the family also has parrots and pheasants. Despite its location in the city limits of Rome, the surrounding area is relatively poor in services and cultural amenities. Therefore, the two brothers have strong doubts that their children will carry on farming.

Students asked questions about the labor requirements, yields, sales, the cost and requirements of the organic certification. It was a most interesting trip to see a farm in the city of Rome, with a farmer like Antonio Onorati, with other occupations and with a socially and politically engaged commitment towards small-scale farming in Italy but also small-scale farming in the world, as member of the International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty. The students were very grateful to Onorati for the warm hospitality and his sharing of the family’s experience of owning a small-scale farm in the city of Rome.