Coming from the ranks of the far-right Fratelli d’Italia party, the new Italian Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, has clear ideas.
This reputed politician very close to Giorgia Meloni has decided to rename his ministry “Agriculture and Food Sovereignty” before explaining his choice in these terms, remind him Corriere della Sera :
“Italy needs to export, and for that we need to defend the quality of our products that others seek to copy.”
Very good for the defense, underlines the Milanese daily, “but to export the products, you still need to have some”.
“42% of production needs irrigation”
Because, as the centrist media points out, the production figures of certain pillars of made in Italy have collapsed this year.
Like durum wheat, an essential ingredient in pasta, the production of which fell by 7.4% compared to 2021, canned and concentrated tomatoes and tomato pulp (−11%), wine ( −10%) and olive oil (−30%).
“Overall, agricultural businesses have lost 6 billion euros mainly due to climate change, drought and expensive energy”, summarizes the Corriere della Sera.
Italy is the third EU country with the most need for irrigation water (for 42% of its production), specifies the media, which cites among the regions particularly in difficulty that of the Po plain, the largest river in the country, which crosses northern Italy.
“A process of irreversible desertification”
This year, the flow of the Po has decreased significantly and as a result, “for the first time, salt water from the sea entered through the delta for 40 kilometers causing an irreversible process of desertification on 30,000 hectares of land”teaches us the daily Milanese.
The extent of the problems created by the drought is therefore enormous. A national plan has existed since 2014 to combat the effects of global warming; but on certain axes, Italy is lagging behind, like the water retention systems, which in Spain make it possible to conserve 50% of rainwater, against only 10% in Italy.
Investments would also be necessary to increase the quantity of so-called “drip” irrigation systems allowing a saving of 10% of water compared to conventional systems.
But using less water will probably not be enough and, in all likelihood, Italy will soon have to switch to less water-intensive crops. To protect the made in Italy, it will therefore be necessary to agree to make it evolve.