(ANSA) - ROME, 08 JAN - Citrus fruits at risk in Italy.
In about 30 years the agricultural area planted with lemons has decreased by 45% and production by 41%.
Decline largely associated with the spread of "sickness", a pathology considered highly destructive.
The government ran for cover, establishing in the budget law, approved by Parliament on 29 December, a special fund to defend the health of citrus fruits.
An important aid for the key regions of the sector, where there are citrus productions certified by quality marks.
The budget is 3 million euros for each of the years 2023, 2024 and 2025, for a total of 9 million euros.
In particular, research activities aimed at containing the spread of 'mal secco' are financed, specifically for IGP products.
"We want to strengthen the Italian supply chains and protect our products, which are synonymous with excellence and quality", declared the Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, on the occasion of the approval of the budget law.
Antonino and Vittoria Catara, professors of the University of Catania, in the publication the 'Mal secco' of citrus fruits, for a century in Sicily" (2019) analyze the diffusion and risks of this devastating phytopathology, they say that in about 30 years, in Italy, the area planted with lemons "has decreased by 45% and production by 41%.
A loss that weighs heavily on Sicily". And "the decline is largely associated with the spread of 'sickness'". And research "represents the weapon with which adversity can be faced", concludes Silvia Di Silvestro , head of the Acireale branch of the Crea-Centre for Research on Olive, Fruit and Citrus Growing (ANSA).