The Agroscapes project promoted by the Island Council focuses on the case of La Gomera in defense of the walls and terraces as the elements that best define and characterize agricultural environments of the island. The initiative considers that these structures have a high agrarian and scenic value, and also ecological, economic and heritage values, and from there a custody model has been established to experiment within the framework of the project.
Soon a conference bearing the title Insular Agroscapes will take place at the seat of the Island Council, organized by Aider La Gomera. This initiative, according to the insular counselor of Territorial Development Ventura del Carmen Rodríguez, provides an opportunity to learn the results of the actions undertaken on the island within the program and at the same time to have an approach to the concept of agricultural custody. The conference will also serve to know the work done within the same initiative on the islands of Ibiza and La Palma, with characteristics similar to those of La Gomera.
Thirteen farmers from Hermigua and Valle Gran Rey have participated in the project, with whom a contract was signed by which they agreed to maintain the terraces in exchange for technical counseling and minimal economic support. Now the project will be evaluated after several years of its implementation considering that the main issue is to determine the actual cost of maintenance of the terraces for the future, not only from the touristic but also agricultural point of view.
the initiative arose in 2010 with the aim to value traditional agricultural landscapes on islands with tourist activity
Insular Agroscapes is an interregional cooperation project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment through the National Rural Network, in which Aider La Gomera has benefited from the collaboration of the Island Council. Rural development groups from Ibiza-Formentera in the Balearics and from La Palma in the Canaries also participate. The initiative arose in 2010 with the aim to value traditional agricultural landscapes on islands with tourist activity, such as the Columbian Island.
Maintaining the attractiveness of the landscape and its features is considered a key attribute in these insular tourist destinations. “Nevertheless the contribution of the local population by maintenance of this resource is usually not compensated by the visitors”, the project managers indicate. In this framework Agroscapes seeks to maintain and protect natural and agricultural environment and rural heritage of great interest, along with traditional sustainable practices.
In parallel other complementary activities have been developed, such as the revaluation of local crop varieties through practical experiences of growing and marketing chícharo and maize for gofio. A pilot experience of tourist visits to farms and agricultural facilities has also been developed, trying to make the primary sector compatible with tourism.