Italian Government Pledges €120 Million in Aid for Xylella-Ravaged Puglia

The money will be divided among farmers who suffered at least a 30 percent loss of production.

By Daniel Dawson
Jun. 29, 2020 08:25 UTC

Italy’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has signed a decree pro­vid­ing €120 mil­lion ($135 mil­lion) in income sup­port for agri­cul­tural enter­prises impacted by Xylella fas­tidiosa in Puglia.

The south­ern Italian region, which is also respon­si­ble for the lion’s share of the coun­try’s olive oil pro­duc­tion, has been rav­aged by the spread of the deadly plant pathogen since 2013.

With the decree, we give the green light to another impor­tant, I would say fun­da­men­tal, part of the Apulian olive oil regen­er­a­tion plan, inter­ven­ing in favor of all those com­pa­nies that have suf­fered sig­nif­i­cant dam­age from the spread of the bac­terium,” Teresa Bellanova said at a press brief­ing.

Now it is up to Puglia’s regional gov­ern­ment to decide how to go about divid­ing up the relief money, most of which will be des­tined for the hard-hit south­ern admin­is­tra­tive region of Salento.

About €85 mil­lion ($95 mil­lion) will be pro­vided to grow­ers by the end of 2020 with the last €35 mil­lion ($39 mil­lion) being given out in 2021.

In order to be eli­gi­ble for the income sup­port, farm­ers must have suf­fered at least a 30 per­cent loss in their gross sal­able pro­duc­tion due to Xylella fas­tidiosa in a sin­gle crop year.

I nat­u­rally hope that the Puglia region will pro­ceed as soon as pos­si­ble with the imple­men­ta­tion of the decree, so that farm­ers, after years and years of dif­fi­culty, can receive the con­tri­bu­tions due up to a max­i­mum of three years, and in this way also be sup­ported in plan­ning invest­ments that look to the future of busi­ness activ­i­ties and olive grow­ing in Salento,” Bellanova said.


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