Industry tomatoes are suffering the most, which is rather problematic as a lot of people are employed in this sector. In 2015, national production was 5.4 million tons with a turnover of around €3.1 billion, meaning Italy is the second leading producer after the US and before China.
€8.6 million will be made available to Parma ad Piacenza to implement emergency measures to help agriculture and supply water.
After difficult transplants in spring and the stress due to frost in April, some growers in Emilia Romagna chose not to transplant late varieties (to be harvested in late September/October) as there is not enough water to irrigate. Groundwater levels are low and rivers and streams are almost dry. Even the Po river is well below the seasonal average.
Davide Previati, technical manager for Op Asipo di Parma, reported that tomato crops are at risk. “The areas at the foot of the hills using water from drainage canals and reservoirs are suffering a lot. Things are slightly better in the areas near the PO river, but groundwater is diminishing rapidly. Growers face higher costs as the high temperatures mean more water is needed.”
“All this causes problems for both growers and the industry, as processing requires a lot of water. We have met regional councillor for agriculture Simona Caselli on 23rd June to find a solution,” explains Tiberio Rabboni (in the photo), President of Organizzazione interprofessionale Pomodoro da industria del nord.”