Officials in Italy have agreed to earmark €30 million to increase productivity and olive oil quality for small and medium farmers and producers.
The new funds will be provided to growers focused on sustainable practices and protecting natural resources.
Our country, which leads in quality products, has the need to increase yields to face the ever-growing competitive strength of the other producing countries.
The Stato-Regioni Conference, the entity that coordinates national and regional policies in Italy, has specified that the funds to successful applicants will reach a maximum of €25,000 each.See Also: Plans for New Super-High-Density Olive Groves Receive Funding in Tuscany
Overall, Italian olive oil yields have substantially decreased in recent years. According to data from the International Olive Council, Italian olive oil production has fallen from an average of 645,000 tons per annum in the first five years of the 21st century to just 280,000 tons in the past five harvests.
The need to adapt to climate change and optimize the use of essential resources, such as water, has often been cited by farming associations as a strategic hurdle. Unaprol, the Italian association of olive oil producers, said that the new funds are included in a larger project to sustain and develop the farming production chain.
“The modernization of traditional orchards and the new plants will help Italy to boost its high-quality production, given that in the last 30 years the production potential has halved,” said Unaprol president David Granieri. “Our country, which leads in quality products, has the need to increase yields to face the ever-growing competitive strength of the other producing countries.”
The Stato-Regioni Conference has also given the green light to the applicative measures of the recent oleotourism law, which should speed up its adoption in each region.
Many initiatives have already seen the light or are being planned throughout the country under the umbrella of the new legislation, with the goal of supporting farmers’ income and promoting sustainability, quality and olive oil culture.
“The new oleotourism implement decree will finally make it possible to connect the historical and architectonics beauties of our country to the valorization of one of the symbols of the Made in Italy,” Granieri concluded. “We now expect the single regions to quickly adopt the new rules in order to let the olive oil territories develop this new extraordinary opportunity.”