Allegrini 2018

“Dl Aid for agricultural enterprises is good, but we need structural interventions for water”

Luca Rigotti, coordinator for the wine sector of Alleanza delle Cooperative, said, “The harvest is complicated due to the drought and rising costs”
Luca Rigotti, wine sector coordinator of Alleanza Cooperative Agroalimentari

Agriculture and the country system can work together providing structural interventions to also improve the water network. It is much more challenging to stop the spread of inflation, because of the increase in raw material and production costs, driven by contingent situations, such as the war between Russia and Ukraine, and speculation. We must act, however, on all aspects, including supporting agriculture and wine companies in particular, which are starting to face a very difficult harvest. Luca Rigotti, coordinator of the wine sector of the Agri-food Cooperative Alliance (and president of Mezzacorona in Trento, ed.), said, “the drought emergency is an addition to the already severe harvest situation characterized by increases in the costs of energy commodities, production factors, packaging materials and transportation. And, the situation could cause further heavy effects on margins and competitiveness of wine companies. This is why we need the institutions to intervene quickly and in a collaborative manner”. The members of Agri-food Cooperative Alliance represent more than half of the Italian wine production. On the one hand, it strongly approves the more immediate measures the Government has taken, while on the other hand, of course, it once again emphasizes the need for long-term plans.
“We definitely welcome the initiative introduced in the AID bis legislative decree to support agricultural businesses affected, even in this wine-growing year, by prolonged drought. To give a concrete answer, instead, to producers, it is necessary to work on structural interventions in the territory”, Rigotti pointed out, indicating among the measures contained in the AID bis — legislative decree, allocating 200 million euros from the National Solidarity Fund to support uninsured agricultural businesses.
“We have been faced with the effects of drought more and more frequently”, Rigotti continued, “which is an emergency that must be addressed and that needs a preventive approach by planning effective solutions and investments aimed at enhancing and adapting water infrastructures”. As a matter of fact, losses in the water system are immense, - 36.2%, according to the latest ISTAT (Italian statistics institute) report — compared to poor rainwater storage capacity, equal to only 11%. This situation”, Luca Rigotti, explained further, “must be tackled urgently adopting a strategy to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems, and taking into account the resources made available by the NRP, equal to 880 million euros allocated for investment 4.3 (“Investments in the resilience of the irrigation system for better management of water resources”) in the “Component M2C4 Protection of the territory and water heritage”.
A medium-long term strategy is therefore needed, which also considers the role of precision agriculture that adopting innovative and technological irrigation systems, makes it possible to intervene. And therefore, the result is significant water savings, reducing waste and consequently, operating costs.

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