`Ruinous Floods in Liguria Add to Poor Outlook for Italian Production - Olive Oil Times

Ruinous Floods in Liguria Add to Poor Outlook for Italian Production

Oct. 20, 2014
Marco Marino

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Flooded olive groves in Liguria, Italy (Photo: Coldiretti)

Coldiretti, the pri­mary asso­ci­a­tion of Italian farm­ers, raised the alarm on olive oil pro­duc­tion in Liguria. Due to bad weather and floods dur­ing recent weeks, olive pro­duc­tion in 2014 is expected to be half of what it was in 2013 when the region pro­duced 5,728 tons of olives.

The cur­rent year did not get off to a good start. The trend of bad weather, unex­pected high tem­per­a­tures, drought and the plague of par­a­sites had already reduced olive har­vest esti­mates, but the lat­est dev­as­tat­ing events makes the sit­u­a­tion worse.

Coldiretti said the heavy rain in Liguria was even more dam­ag­ing after a drought in the region that saw an 82-per­cent reduc­tion in pre­cip­i­ta­tion this sea­son com­pared to the annual aver­age level.

Rain flooded the fields, stripped the plants, inter­rupted rural tracks and iso­lated whole inland vil­lages in the region, thus reduc­ing pro­duc­tion and imped­ing har­vest­ing at the worst time.

Coldiretti has there­fore begun a pro­gram to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion in Liguria in order to put together a suit­able plan for request­ing funds for regional agri­cul­tural activ­i­ties and to sup­port olive pro­duc­ers in par­tic­u­lar, who dur­ing this period work to har­vest their olives and sell it to obtain suf­fi­cient finan­cial resources for next year’s oper­a­tions.
See Also:Complete Coverage of the 2014 Harvest
The mon­i­tor­ing pro­gram is expected to be long and dif­fi­cult because it is esti­mated that 98 per­cent of Ligurian munic­i­pal­i­ties were struck by floods or are in areas of high hydro­ge­o­log­i­cal insta­bil­ity, and are there­fore still a flood haz­ard.

The pres­i­dent of Liguria, Claudio Burlando, along with the mayor of Genoa, Marco Doria, and Erasmo D’Angelis, the coor­di­na­tor of the national pre­ven­tion cam­paign Italia Sicura,” announced that, dur­ing the Regional Council meet­ing, he will ask for emer­gency state aid, and he rec­om­mended that all of the munic­i­pal­i­ties pre­pare an esti­mate of losses. He that losses will exceed 300 mil­lion euros.

The fall in olive oil pro­duc­tion in Liguria is only the lat­est of expected hits to Italian olive oil pro­duc­tion in 2014 On a national scale a decline in pro­duc­tion of 35 per­cent from last year is expected. The decrease in Italy comes at the same time as an even greater drop in Spain, where pro­duc­tion is antic­i­pated to go down by half from lats year’s huge out­put. As a result, Coldiretti fore­casts a 38 per­cent rise in the price of olive oil.

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