Agriculture in crisis due to high energy costs: producing food in Italy costs 8 billion more

VSWith soaring energy costs due to the war in Ukraine, agriculture has to pay an additional bill of at least 8 billion per year, thus jeopardizing crops, livestock and the national processing industry. This is what Coldiretti confirms by analyzing the latest data on industrial production published by Istat. A figure up in February despite the impact of spending on energy and raw materials.

The escalating costs for the agricultural world

Since the start of the conflict, Coldiretti points out, there has been an average jump of at least 1/3 in agricultural production costs due to the direct and indirect effects of energy prices. In the agricultural production system, direct energy consumption includes diesel, which is used for the operation of tractors, for heating greenhouses and for transportation. Indirect consumptions, on the other hand, are those that derive from the energy necessary for the production of phytosanitary products, fertilizers and the use of materials such as plastic, while the food sector requires large amounts of energy , in particular heat and electricity, for the processes of production, transformation, preservation of products of animal and vegetable origin, the operation of machinery and the air conditioning of production and work environments.

A third of farmers have reduced their production

La Coldiretti reports that farmers are being forced to deal with unsustainable price increases for diesel fuel needed for tractor operations, including digging, rolling, sowing, fertilizing and irrigation, which, combined with the he increase in the prices of fertilizers and animal feed, pushes nearly one in three entrepreneurs (30%) to reduce production, while the average price of diesel for fishing has practically doubled (+ 90%) compared to last year. “Not to mention the explosion of packaging costs – writes Coldiretti – From plastic for flower pots to steel for pots, from glass for pots to wood for transport pallets and paper for labels of products that affect different supply chains, from milk packages to bottles for wine, oil, juices and purées, from nets for citrus fruits to enamel jars for legumes”.

The president of Coldiretti: “We must ensure food sovereignty”

For Coldiretti, Italy must get out of this situation as quickly as possible, which sees it largely dependent on other countries for the supply of raw materials. “First the pandemic and then the war have shown that deep globalization has failed and that immediate remedies are needed and a relaunch of European and national instruments that guarantee food sovereignty as a strategic cornerstone of security”, a- he declared. Ettore Prandini by asking for “urgent interventions and structural choices to make Europe and Italy self-sufficient from the point of view of food supply by investing to increase production and yields of land with rainwater storage basins to combat against drought, seriously counter” the invasion of wildlife that forces the abandonment of land in many interior areas and supports public research with technological innovation and NBTs to support production, protect biodiversity and as a tool response to climate change”.

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