Due to the drought in the North 50% of agricultural production is at risk. To launch such a strong alarm, precisely on World Day Against Desertification, is the Italian CIA-Farmers, according to which the total damage of the water crisis is already destined to exceed one billion euros, if the rains do not return to the Alps. Late tomatoes and many other vegetables run the greatest risks and cannot even be grown due to the lack of water needed for irrigation. On the other hand, for summer fruit, in particular melons and watermelons, a reduction of between 30% and 40% is expected, which reaches 50% for corn and soy, productions whose market is already widely under stress due to the war. in Ukraine.
To combat the shortage of water in the fields, the CIA asks for immediate action: first with shifts for watering and emergency irrigation to save production in the field and, then, structural interventions on water infrastructures such as a network of new basins and reservoirs, widespread on the territory, for the accumulation and storage of rainwater. There is also a need for rapid government intervention for maintenance of the water network and better use of water, as well as new insurance tools.
Confagricoltura also points the finger at the delay accumulated in the maintenance of the national water network: “Over 40% of the water injected is dispersed – denounces the component of the Confagricoltura council, Giovanna Parmigiani – and rainwater is collected only for a short time more than 10% “. In the last 20 years, the association recalls, the drought has caused damage to Italian agriculture for over 15 billion euros, 50% of which concentrated in Puglia, Emilia Romagna, Sicily and Sardinia.
The situation is also difficult in Liguria: “The production of fodder – explains the local Coldiretti – is one third of that necessary and there is a strong lack of water to water the livestock, a situation that makes animal husbandry experience a serious difficulty . Olive growing, with plants in evident water stress, and basil for the classic Genoese pesto, which needs irrigation continuity to grow, are also affected by the drought. Also according to Coldiretti, in Molise the drought has caused damage to the cereal crops on the Adriatic coast, in the province of Campobasso, with a loss of between 20 and 30%, while in the province of Isernia the forage crops have suffered a loss. more than 40%.
In Basilicata the production of cereals contracted by 40% compared to last year, while that of fodder dropped by as much as 60%. oats and 25% for legumes, but the effects of drought are also evident on the olive sector, with an estimated 40% drop in olive production. Finally, in Emilia Romagna, Coldiretti argues, there are already 300 million euros in damages in fruit and vegetables: so far only 30% of the water needed for apricots, cherries, peaches and plums has been given and just 12% for pear and apple trees.