The climate affects agriculture: wine and fruit decimated


By John

The climate gives no respite to Italian agriculture, a constant that has now been repeated over the years. While in these hours the alarm is coming from the South and the Islands of breeders and farmers gripped by drought, the latest Istat report takes stock of 2023, a year characterized by unfortunately memorable extreme events, starting from the May flood in Emilia Romagna, but also from late and harmful hailstorms and frosts. The result is a caporetto of the primary school’s economy, with double-digit production cuts for volume of wine (-17.4%) and fruit (-11.2%), the sectors most affected by the adversities, which however did not spare floriculture (-3.9%), olive oil (-3%), support activities (-1.6%) and animal husbandry. (-0.9%). At a national level the average of cuts was -1.8%, with the exception of the North-West where an increase of 2.3% was recorded.

According to Istat, the agricultural added value fell by 2.5% in volume, in contrast to the national economy which showed growth of 1.1% as a whole. As for forestry, production and value added decreased in volume by 0.9% and 1.2% respectively, while in fisheries the decline was 0.5% and 3.5%. Positive sign only for industrial and cereal crops, thanks to the increase in yields per hectare. Adverse climatic conditions which have impacted employment in agriculture, down by 2.4% (-3.5% among self-employed workers), but also on investments which have fallen both in value (-2.6%) and in volume (- 1.5%). In 2023, the growth in producer prices continued (+3.9%), but at lower rates compared to the previous year, while the rise in costs in the sector came to a halt, with prices decreasing by 2.5%. %, especially starting from the second part of the year. Climate that has slowed down the agricultural economy but not the agri-food sector, reports Istat.

The added value of the food, beverage and tobacco industry increased by 2.7% in volume, while that of the agri-food sector remained substantially unchanged compared to the previous year (+0.1%) The share of the agri-food sector on the total economy improved, rising in 2023 to 4.2% from 3.8%, thanks to a strengthening of the contribution of the food industry (2% compared to 1.6% in 2022). Finally, at a European level, Italy confirms itself in second place for added value and third for production value among the 27 EU countries, where the average decline was 0.4% and 0.8%, respectively. Among the main producing countries, the decline particularly affected Greece (-15.2%), Denmark (-8.3%) and Spain (-8.0%), with negative trends also recorded in Ireland (-4, 4%) and the Netherlands (-1.0%); increases instead in Hungary (+25.2%), Romania (+15.6%), France (+2.9%) and Germany (+2%). (HANDLE).