Kiwifruit production in recovery in Tuscany, but costs weigh

Kiwifruit production in recovery in Tuscany, but costs weigh
Kiwifruit production in recovery in Tuscany, but costs weigh
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Production of Made in Tuscany kiwifruit in recovery after the disastrous 2021 but the energy price increases and above all the surplus costs for irrigation are now having a heavy impact rescue during the summer months needed to save the crop which have almost eliminated farmers’ margins (+30%).

The kiwi harvest is underway in Tuscany, the fruit originally from China, but of which our country is today the first European producer and one of the main world producers with Tuscany which guarantees an important contribution to the record with 88 hectares and surfaces in slight growth (+9%) in the last three years.

To say it is Coldiretti Toscana based on Istat data on kiwifruit production in the region with just over 14,000 quintals collected in the last year for an estimated turnover of between 1.5 and 2 million euros.

“The production of kiwifruit has found in our region the right climate, ideal conditions and farsighted agricultural entrepreneurs who have known how to cultivate and consolidate it over the years. – explains Fabrizio Filippi, president of Coldiretti Toscana – The drought has forced agricultural companies to resort to emergency irrigation with an increase in production costs which between diesel and technical means is around 30% more. Without water there can be no agriculture and even a fruit like the kiwi suffers from water stress. The projections, if we fail to reverse the course, lead us towards a climatic upheaval that will have consequences on agricultural production and therefore on the economies of the territories and on the communities, creating even greater social inequalities”.

This summer’s drought cost Made in Tuscany agriculture 260 million euros in damages between crop failures and lower yields according to the reports collected by the Tuscany Region. The provinces most affected by the extreme drought this summer were Siena with 101 million euro of damage reported and Grosseto with 94 million euro which alone reported 75% of the estimated damage.

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“The plan overruna theme that the regional table wanted by President Giani is addressing and of which we are actively part, plays a vital role for the agricultural system and for the territories. – continues the president of Coldiretti Toscana Filippi – If Tuscany wants to preserve its agricultural and agri-food leadership while remaining central to the production of food, it must accelerate in guaranteeing agricultural companies the adequate water supply at key moments, avoiding water dispersions and putting in place investments to support agriculture 4.0 for more competitive and sustainable production. They are two indispensable keys for the future of Made in Tuscany”.

After a good flowering in spring, asphyxiating heat, tropical nights and absence of rainfall have slowed down the ripening of the fruits which are now healthy but slightly smaller in size. Cultivation spread throughout the region, even if not in a homogeneous way, mainly concentrated in the province of Florence, Pistoia and Pisa which alone collect two thirds of the entire production, the kiwi, whose name derives from the bird symbol of New Zealand that looks exactly like the exotic fruit but without a beak, the new season looks very positive both in terms of quantity and quality. The lost production of last year seems to be recovered by bringing the harvest back to the seasonal averages. This is confirmed by Giovanni Pacini, owner of the farm Pacini of San Giuliano Terme, athe foot of the Monti Pisani, which with its six hectares in production, to which are added another 3 new ones, is among the most important producers in the region. Pacini produces certified organic green-fleshed Hayward kiwifruit varieties in what has become the Pisan kiwifruit valley. Pacini produces between 800 and 1,000 quintals of kiwi per year. “The lack of water, the aridity of the soil and the lack of sudden changes in temperature have not facilitated the growth of the fruit. In the summer we had to intervene with emergency irrigation. And it is thanks to these interventions that today we can gather. – explains Pacini – This production, as well as others, is linked to the availability of water. The collection started a week late. To have perfect maturation we have to wait for the first sudden changes between day and night. Only then can we harvest. The collection will continue for ten to fifteen days.

The article is in Italian

Tags: Kiwifruit production recovery Tuscany costs weigh