The EU initiative ADAPT

National Park
The name "aromatic and medicinal plants" is given to all those plant species which contain active substances in their structure. They can be grouped, according to their use, in aromatic plants and plants used for seasoning food and making liquors, medicinal and healthy plants, dyeing, biocidal and repulsive plants and plants used to make cosmetics and perfumes.
In Ogliastra, a region in the central-eastern side of Sardinia which is part of the Gennargentu National Park, there are areas with a high naturalistic value, rich in officinal botanical species which grow wild in this area. The land is suitable for the cultivation of aromatic and medicinal plant species both at the sea level (in the areas of the municipalities of Tortolì, Barisardo and Tertenia) and at medium altitudes (areas of Urzulei, Talana, Arzana and Villagrande). This is the reason why Tortolì was chosen to organize the training courses, attended between the months of March and May 1998 by 15 farmers residing in the area of the Gennargentu National Park.


workers making the ground

of the intervention
and of training courses

The total duration of the training course was of about 200 hours, 150 of which in a classroom and 50 hours in some Italian farms and companies where medicinal plants are produced and processed.
The aim of the course was to train the participants with the most adequate techniques for the rational growing, harvesting and processing of medicinal plants. The course was structured according to some modules and followed this process: we started from the techniques to determine the wild species, we talked about the main techniques to grow medicinal plants and, finally, the first processing and the introduction into the market were treated.
By the "Istituto Professionale di Stato per l’Agricoltura e l’Ambiente" (Institute of Agriculture) of Tortolì (province of Nuoro), an experimental field was created where 300 little plants of various botanical species used to make seasoning of food and liquors and medicinal plants were planted. The cultivation of these plants allowed to "live" directly all the possible situations in the management of land with medicinal plants: sowing, biological pest control, the techniques for irrigation and the harvesting stages.
Among the subjects treated, the first processing of the product was particularly important. After the verfication of the balsamic time (the time with the highest concentration of active elements in some parts of the plant), some samples of thyme, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender and other plants were taken and the trainees used them to try distillation techniques for the extraction of essential oils. The essential oils are extracted by means of a distiller, formed by a pipe-coil plunged into a refrigerating container; the essence produced can be widely used in various sectors of food and cosmetics industry and in phytotherapy. The market value of these products can be very high, for several kilograms of plant mass are needed to produce a few milliliters of essential oil.
Some training modules went thoroughly into the techniques for plant mass drying process to prevent it from putrefying, into phytotherapy and the legislation that regulates this sector. Some exercises and group workshops simulated situations and problems related to the product’s marketing. The worldwide market of medicinal plants, and the relevant costs and incomes were analyzed.
The training courses organized in Sardinia in the "Società Cooperativa Erbosard" of Orosei (province of Nuoro) and in the leading companies in Italy dealing with processing and selling of the product had a great importance. The trainees could directly see some production contexts and understand what is the position of the companies in the market.


medicinal plants :
laboratory works


Results and consequences
for the participants
and the area

The 200 hour course allowed the participants to know medicinal plants and their products in general; they could develop a new entrepreneurship idea and start some experimental cultivations in their fields.
The ERSAT ("Ente Regionale di Sviluppo e Assistenza Tecnica in Agricoltura", a service authority of the Regional Administration of Sardinia dealing with the development and technical assistance in agriculture) will guarantee the technical assistance to the trainees, some cultivations will be established and the selection of better plant varieties will be experimented through some tests and analysis.
It is possible to say that a new trend of ecocompatible entrepreneurship development has been inaugurated, a kind of development which is strictly connected with the natural resources offered by the area where the Gennargentu National Park is.


Proposes in the ADAPT comunities initiatives

tourist offer
Aromatic and medicinal plants
Innovative and sustainable olive-growing
Green tourism operator
The historical centers in the park
Green tourism operators
Tourist operator in the widespread hospitality project

The EU initiative ADAPT - aromatic plants tourist offer olive growing