Click day overbooked with entry applications for non-EU workers who have far exceeded availability, confirming the lack of manpower affecting various sectors of the economy.
This is what Coldiretti affirms, with reference to the applications presented starting from 27 March on the basis of the Dpcm of transitory programming of the flows which establishes 82,705 admissions, an increase compared to the 69,700 of the previous year.
"With the arrival of spring, at least 100,000 workers are needed in the countryside to fill the lack of manpower that hit the countryside hard last year with the significant loss of crops", says the president of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini, in underline that it is "a need to be addressed with an additional flow decree, also provided for by law".
Even if there is no territorial subdivision, the regions where entry requests are concentrated, according to Coldiretti, are those that require a large commitment of manpower such as Trentino especially for apple picking or Veneto for vegetable picking and strawberries which is almost upon us also due to the warm winter but also Friuli Venezia Giulia for the preparation of the vine seedlings for the new plantings, the so-called cuttings, Lazio for vegetables and Campania for the cultivation of tobacco and the tomato sector intended for industrial processing.
"In Italy, one out of four agricultural products is harvested by foreign hands, with 358,000 workers from as many as 164 countries", notes Coldiretti, citing data from the Immigration Statistical Dossier (IDOS).
However, there is currently no subdivision of entry quotas at territorial level. On the basis of the experiences of recent years, Coldiretti indicates that the regions in which entry requests will concentrate are the same in which seasonal crops are concentrated, which require a large effort of manpower.
Among these are Trentino, above all for the apple harvest, Veneto for the imminent harvest of vegetables and frails, Friuli Venezia Giulia for the preparation of vine seedlings for new plantings,
Even Confagricoltura indicates a "high growth" of the agricultural workforce of non-EU origin, which represents about 70% of workers.
Among the countries of origin, Africa predominates, with Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Nigeria and Mali.
The share of non-EU manpower coming from Eastern Europe is also significant, especially from Albania and Macedonia, and then from Asia, with India and Pakistan.
Although the expected arrivals this year exceed those of 2022, for agricultural organizations they are still not sufficient compared to the demand.
In the countryside, "at least one hundred thousand young people" are needed, notes the president of Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini.
"It is a necessity - he continues - to be tackled with an additional flow decree, also provided for by law".
One hundred thousand is also the figure indicated by Confagricoltura, which for some time has asked for a revision of the flow decree and according to which, "despite the increase, compared to last year, in the quotas of the flow decree, there will still be a shortage of sufficient workers on farms for late spring and summer operations".
For the president of the agricultural organization, Massimiliano Giansanti, "at least three times the available and suitably qualified manpower is needed", considering that a higher number of requests than the offer is expected.