Research Institute on Population and Social Policies


"Free the land" - A project against the exploitation of labor in agriculture in Capitanata

Started in May 2020, the "Libera la terra" project financed by the Puglia Region and coordinated by ANOLF Foggia aims to bring together employers, trade unions and third sector organizations around the same table with the aim of designing concrete and shared proposals for the fight against agricultural exploitation and illegal hiring in Capitanata. The Capitanata area, in the province of Foggia, is well known for being one of the main tomato harvesting and production centers in Italy; laborers contribute to this productive effort - many of them immigrants from Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa - who live in real "ghettos" (an example is the Ghetto di Rignano Garganico) in unacceptable housing and sanitation conditions . Added to this is a precariousness of the legal status, the widespread irregularity in the agricultural labor market (with the total or partial absence of employment contracts framed and regulated by law) and the presence of "corporals" who recruit workers on a daily basis. and take care of their transport to the labor camps. In this complex contest, farms, employers 'and trade unions' associations, third sector organizations operate in random order and often with conflicting interests and objectives. Hence the need, to which the project aims to respond, to bring these actors together to develop common solutions. The project partners include: FAI Puglia, the Coop. Arcobaleno Foggia, the Iscos Puglia, the Anolf Foggia, the FAI Foggia, the CIA Italian Farmers Provincia Capitanata, the Coldiretti, the Ciala Ebat Foggia, the Confagricoltura Foggia.
CNR-IRPPS participates in the project as a partner covering a research and evaluation role. The work is led by Dr. Lucio Pisacane and co-assisted by Dr. Serena Tagliacozzo and focuses on two main activities:
1. Collection of materials and information resources on the subject of the exploitation of agricultural work and illegal hiring in Southern Italy, with specific attention to the Capitanata;
2. Interviews with project partners and other privileged actors in order to explore the effectiveness of the initiatives implemented in recent years to counter the phenomenon and their impact in the agricultural sector in Capitanata.
These activities aim to collect information about good practices and areas for improvement, possibly triggering a process of reflection on the dynamics and mechanisms underlying the phenomenon and supporting the development of shared proposals.