Lorenzo Artibani is the co-founder of Orto 2.0, an innovative app for agricultural cooperatives that was founded in Rome in 2017. Run by Lorenzo and three fellow young farmers, this digital platform provides Rome’s urban citizens with access to local, fresh, and sustainable vegetables.
With Orto 2.0 anyone can rent a 50 square metre plot to create a vegetable garden. Lorenzo and his colleagues nurture every aspect of the growing process. The enterprise adopts an innovative agroecological approach to urban farming – it links digital technology with natural methods of cultivation and promotes a circular economy.
“Orto 2.0 offers an innovative model for connecting farmers to markets through the use of technology.”
The app allows users to virtually set up their own vegetable patch, choosing what to plant from a list of seasonal vegetables. An intercropping system guides them to obtain greater yields and users digitally manage and monitor their garden. Users can also participate on-site in production processes, with the assistance of the Orto 2.0 farming team. Crops can then be collected in person or delivered to consumers' homes within three hours of harvesting.
Young farmers that tend the gardens produce natural fertilizers with agricultural waste and compost and use only plant-based natural pesticides. Through better soil protection, Orto 2.0 is re-establishing local biodiversity while protecting consumer health by eliminating chemical inputs.
‘’Orto 2.0 is an alternative that respects planetary boundaries and prioritizes people’s health.”
For Lorenzo, COVID-19 presented an opportunity for small-scale producers to embrace the growing demand for transparent food supply chains. His cooperative aims to achieve independent production by autonomously producing natural and native seeds, thereby preserving agro-biodiversity, local seed varieties, and building urban food sovereignty.
Through Orto 2.0, food hero Lorenzo and his collaborators are making people’s diets healthier and more sustainable and connecting people with nature, while building more local, inclusive, and resilient urban food systems.
“We believe that a transformation of our food systems implies reconnecting people to nature. To make this happen, we need to bridge the gap between producers and consumers, rebuilding connections to land, water, seeds, plants, and all living beings.”