The workforce in the Italian farming sector – especially for those under 35 years old – is growing. In 2012 it was up by 3.6% on the previous year. Farms have also become more efficient, and increased the use of environmentally friendly technologies. The positive export trend currently underway is the primary factor that has made these changes possible.
The farmers’ organization Coldiretti together with the Symbola Foundation released these findings in a recent report on Italian agriculture. More than half of the companies covered in the study reduced their consumption of natural resources, thus conserving water and energy, as they invested in sustainable practices between 2009 and 2011.
More specifically, new machines that make farming more efficient have been employed, with energy savings estimated at around 40%. Furthermore, waste reduction amounted to 9,000 tons in 2012, while one fifth of the farms reported decreasing use of fertilizers and pesticides. Last but not least, the number of businesses headed by women also increased, with one out of every three farms being managed by a woman.