The flood threatens seeds for fields around the world

The flood threatens seeds for fields around the world

The flood in Romagna will have consequences for all of world agriculture because farmers in many latitudes will lack sugar beet and coriander seeds, as well as cabbage and alfalfa seeds. Italy is the second seed producer in Europe, and is also among the most important worldwide, together with Chile, Australia, France and New Zealand. In our country, the seed sector is worth one billion euros a year.

The productive heart in Romagna

Let's take sugar beet seeds for example: Emilia Romagna alone guarantees 60% of the world's needs and 40% of this production is located precisely in the areas affected by the floods: «The tragic events of the last few days - he explains the director of Assosementi, Alberto Lipparini - have caused huge and not yet quantifiable damages, which will have important negative repercussions on the seed sector, with effects that will also drag on in the next few years».

The Cac cooperative plant is located in Cesena, one of the largest seed producers in Romagna and therefore in Italy. Two thousand members, two of whom lost their lives in recent days due to the violence of the water, «and this is my first thought», says the president, Giovanni Piersanti. The damage count is still in progress, as for the rest of agriculture that ended up under water, it will take a fortnight to figure out how many plants have rotted. «Our members have several hectares of irrecoverable crops - says Piersanti - above all sunflower, soy, cabbage and hybrid cucumbers. 40% of the beets ended up under water: some for a day, others more, we still don't know how much seed we will be able to recover. For the basil it would be the time to sow, but with fields like this we gave up».

Export is 75%

Cac exports 75% of its seeds: it has large customers in Holland and Japan above all, but also in China, Southeast Asia, America and the rest of Europe. «We will find ourselves having to manage a decrease in product - says the president - and part of what we will collect could be of lower quality than what we are usually used to. For example, we will have to understand whether the seeds finished underwater, in terms of health, will be valid or not. I already know that customers to whom we will not give an adequate answer this year will turn to their suppliers in the southern hemisphere this time around. The most important thing will be to demonstrate that we are efficient in restarting, only in this way will we maintain their trust for the years to come".

Source link