Fava Cottora dell’Amerino

Crop: Vicia faba L. (Faba bean )

‘Fava cottora’ belongs to the botanical variety equina (Vicia faba var. equina L.). The sowing is generally carried out in November and the harvest in July when the plant is dry. Traditionally, farmers cut the plants and leave them on the field for 2-3 days in order completely dry the pods; this operation facilitates the seed sorting, that is carried out manually using a traditional sieve locally called ‘corvello’ or ‘gigliaro’. Once the seeds are sorted, they are conserved in glass jars with garlic.

Cultivation System: low-input conditions.

Geographical Information

Country: Italy

The cultivation of this landrace is traditionally carried out an area called ‘Amerino’ that is located across the province of Terni in the territories of the municipalities of Amelia, Guardea and Orvieto (Umbria Region, Italy). Currently, ‘Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’ is cultivated within the small districts of Frattuccia (Guardea, Terni) and Collicello (Amelia, Terni).

Farmer(s) description:

Few farmers (3) and circa 20 gardeners within the cultivation area still cultivate ‘Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’. They are grouped in an association named ‘Produttori di Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’ Generally, farmers destinate only a fraction of their surface to the production of this landrace (maximum 2 ha) while gardeners cultivate few plants each year to cover their family need.

Propagation system: Seed, self-pollination

Multiplication procedures and consequences on landrace diversity:

Each farmer and gardener produce seed for the following year within the farm. The selection is directly carried out on the seeds; in order to have good germinability, big seeds are selected. Generally, farmers and gardeners do not exchange seed. Anyhow, seed exchange can occur whenever a farmer needs seed to increase his cultivated area or to compensate a negative productive season (i.e. phytosanitary problems).

The multiplication procedure without the application of any conscious selection ensures ‘Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’ adaptation to the cultivation area and preservation of useful within population genetic diversity.

Management plan existence:

The landrace management relies completely on farming activities in the area.

Added Values

Market - existing and novel:

In order to encourage the cultivation and promote ‘Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’ on the local market, the association named ‘Pro Collicello’ established a gastronomic festival in which the landrace is used to prepare diverse curses, according to local traditional recipies. The event take place every year in the municipality of Collicello (Terni, Italy).

As ‘Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’ is included among the ‘Slow Food presidia’, both local and national markets are growing even if the production is still limited.

Others (e.g. commercial/geographical brands or special traits):

The ‘Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’ caught the interest of the Slow Food movement which included it among its ‘presidia’ in 2010.

In 2009/2010, the Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Science of the University of Perugia (DSA3_UNIPG) carried out genetic characterisation of some accessions of ‘Fava Cottora’; results were published on a Master’s degree thesis (Tartamelli, 2010)

The municipalities of Guardea and Amelia, together with the Terni Province and ‘Camera di Commercio di Terni’ funded and supported the inclusion of ‘Fava Cottora dell’Amerino’ in the Slow Food’s presidia.

Currently, further activities are needed to enhance on-farm conservation and to increase the use of such resource.

Uncertain. To have access to the resource ‘Regione Umbria’ (http://www.regione.umbria.it/agricoltura) or ‘3A-PTA’ (http://www.parco3a.org/pagine/contatti-004) should be contacted

Case study prepared by Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali (DSA3), Università degli Studi di Perugia (UNIPG), Italy.

Most of updates have been communicated by Ms Angelica Tartamelli.