The latest auction announced by Ismea includes more than 300 olive groves. The goal is to revive existing farms and establish new ones.
Twenty thousand hectares of unused and abandoned farmland and olive groves have been put on sale in Italy by the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (Ismea)
The sixth edition of Ismea’s National Bank of the Agricultural Lands (BTA) auction lists available farms across the country. According to Ismea, the land on sale, enough to establish 800 farms, is worth €260 million.
The generational turnover is crucial to keep rural areas alive and to sustain a competitive, innovative and economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture.
Of the available farmland, 315 lots are exclusively olive groves in southern Italy. However, plenty of other lots, including olive groves and other crops, notably vineyards, are also available.
The farmland lots on sale are listed on the BTA website. Thirty-six percent of the available land is in Sicily, 13 percent in Tuscany, 12 percent in Sardinia and 9 percent in Puglia.See Also:Restoring Abandoned Olive Trees at Leonardo da Vinci’s Home
To participate, farmers must submit their declaration of interest by June 5th.
The area and price vary considerably, from 5 hectares of olive trees sold for €100,000 near Caltagirone, Sicily, to 98 hectares for €316,000 in Arcidosso, Tuscany.
While the BTA auction is open to everyone, specific support is set to be provided to young farmers. The bank will allow farmers under 41 to pay the total price of the farmland with a 30-years fixed-rate amortization plan.
“Since its first edition, BTA has auctioned more than 40,000 hectares of farmland, distributed from north to south, triggering almost 7,000 declarations of interest,” Ismea officials told Olive Oil Times.
In the first five editions, the BTA has sold 450 lots, mainly in the southern regions of Puglia, Sicily and Basilicata.
BTA is just one of Ismea’s initiatives to stimulate the interest of a new generation of farmers. Another example, the Land Generation initiative, provides special financing for younger farmers to expand their operations or launch new farms.
Ismea officials said younger farmers and women are supported through a specific initiative that mixes loans at favorable conditions and grants.
“[These] are meant to strengthen current agricultural production and the transformation and commercialization of agricultural products, as well as foster the diversification of agricultural income,” Ismea officials said.
“The generational turnover is crucial to keep rural areas alive and to sustain a competitive, innovative and economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture,” they added. “Sadly, data show us that the young abandoning rural areas is still very intense and constitutes a demographic and socio-economic risk for entire territories.”
“At the same time, what clearly emerged in the last census by Istat [the Italian national statistics agency] is the strong association between the young farmer and a higher competitive capacity of the farm, which is a result of the willingness to invest, the introduction of technological innovation, the ability to value the [farmers’] network,” the officials concluded. “It also comes from a tendency to diversify income sources and give value to the territory.”