Martina: organic and hi-tech fields, the way to revamp “Made in Italy” food, by Ettore Livini (IT)

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The Italian Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina wants to look beyond the urgent needs, such as milk crisis ("Staring from 2017 we will have with France the raw material label of origin") and the Italian wheat sale prices: "Bayer and Monsanto blend, and China challenges the US by encouraging its farmers with 100 billion dollars aid. Italian agriculture does not have the size to fight such kind of wars war, nor can always reason out with a short term attitude. We need to draw our own strategy by anticipating changes and not suffering the related consequences. This can be done by focusing on ecology and digital revolution with a clear goal: by 2030 our agriculture must be 100% sustainable”. According to Martina, "sustainability increases competitiveness. Consumers, increasingly aware, ask for quality and low environmental impact. Organic agriculture is the example. In Italy, organic surfaces increased by 50% in 5 years, consumption rose by 20%. And organic productions allow farmers to earn on average 10-15% more than conventional ones. This is the way to enhance our biodiversity combining it with profitability”. Martina thinks that a revolution in this sense can start right from small farms, and calls on them to aggregate, quoting the example of the of the Trentino apple producers who, through the creation of a network, control 70% of the domestic market and are leaders in the world. The digital sector is equally important: "Digital and ecology shorten the supply chain and put in contact in a more transparent way those who work in the fields and those who buy from the shelves. Even processors are now asking us for an increased support concerning sustainable and high quality raw materials ".


La Repubblica, 23 September 2016