More than 5,000 farms with greenhouses, nurseries and stables where drowned animals are counted and tens of thousands of flooded hectares of vineyards, kiwis, plums, pears, apples, vegetables and cereals and agricultural product processing facilities have ended up under water. These are the findings of Coldiretti’s monitoring of the effects of the flooding in Romagna, where there are missing persons and victims even among farmers.
“There are difficulties,” Coldiretti stresses, “also in guaranteeing the feeding of livestock also because forage has been compromised and there is a lack of water to water them in the hilly areas with problems of viability due to damage to rural infrastructure caused by landslides and landslips. The hardest hit sector is the fruit and vegetable sector with the slow runoff of water left in orchards ‘suffocating’ tree roots until they rot, with the risk of entire plantations disappearing and taking years before becoming productive again.”
An entire supply chain made up of agriculture and the fruit and vegetable processing companies that make Romagna the Italian ‘fruit valley,’ with the gross saleable production of fruit and vegetables worth 1.2 billion euros in the region, is at risk of being sent into crisis. The damage is therefore incalculable pending the runoff of the waters that have invaded the region’s valuable orchards and vegetables, rural houses, farms with tractors and machinery covered in mud.
“Now the priority is to save human lives, but immediately it is necessary to put in place every useful action aimed at economic and productive recovery because the very survival of hundreds of businesses and the workers who depend on them is at stake,” said Coldiretti President Ettore Prandini in appreciating the measures to suspend obligations in tax and social security contributions and for legal proceedings announced by the government.