The Plaine du Var, historically an agricultural area, has seen its farmland drastically reduced over the years. Yet this activity is an integral part of the Eco-Vallée project, playing a key role both in terms of biodiversity and of sustainable development.

Historically, a land of food and flowers

With its gentle climate, good earth, abundance of water for irrigation, and its proximity with Nice, this stretch of land was dedicated to growing plantations for food and horticulture. This activity has continued up till now, but for several decades, the agricultural land has been shrinking progressively, both in the valley and on the hill sides.

An activity to be preserved

As of 2003, the Alpes Maritimes directive for territorial planning (Directive territoriale d’aménagement (DTA) established the necessity to restructure the Plaine du Var, highlighting the importance of maintaining agricultural land as green corridors within the urban planning. The directive identified the farmland areas to be maintained (between 360 and 490 hectares in total). Since then, the local development plans (plans locaux d’urbanisme (PLU) have respected this orientation. A new generation of farmers is now catering to environmentally aware consumers who wish to buy local grown food.

The sustainable development chart

Since October 2010, the EPA Plaine du Var, along with Alpes Maritimes and State representatives, have signed the chart for the sustainable development of farmlands and forests. This chart lists 28 commitments and action plans. A joint workgroup is also organized with the Alpes Maritimes Chamber of Agriculture to help define the Eco-Vallée’s agricultural roadmap for the future.

Paving the way for innovation

With the focus on sustainable development and innovation, new agribusiness centers of excellence are starting to emerge as of now, supported by the chamber of agriculture. As a key initiative, the chamber of agriculture has established its experimental lab CREAT within the new La Baronne-Lingostière food and flower distribution platform