Climate change is having a major impact on Italian agriculture. Cereals that need large amounts of water are in crisis, while fragile plants are threatened by alternating droughts and floods. Data collected by Italys istituto di biometeorologia (institute of biometerology) and ufficio centrale di ecologia agraria (centre for agricultural ecology) indicate serious problems throughout Italy. Due to warmer springs, peach, almond and apricot trees are all blossoming earlier leaving them more vulnerable to cold snaps. And winegrowers in Veneto have noticed their traditional table wine now tastes more like sweet dessert wine. Faced with climate change the fragility of our farming system which is too reliant on chemicals and irrigation is becoming all the more clear, says Pina Eramo, President of Anabio (the Italian association for organic farming). She adds: we need to support varieties which will thrive in the new climate: those grown over the course of centuries are good at adapting, while others, cultivated in laboratories to improve their yield, seem to be more vulnerable.
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