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Napolitano cites importance of agrifood to economy

Calls for administrative simplification and innovation

26 February, 17:25
Napolitano cites importance of agrifood to economy (ANSA) - Rome, February 26 - In his opening remarks at the Italian Farmers Confederation (CIA) assembly on Wednesday, President Giorgio Napolitano said that the agrifood sector had long been a pillar of Italy's economy.

He noted that the sector had "always played a fundamental role in our country's economy, thanks to the soundness of the facilities and the quality of the products, making it possible to limit damage from the serious, drawn-out economic and financial crisis" of the past few years. Agriculture association Coldiretti said in December that unfair competition from foreign produce falsely branded to look Italian has contributed to the demise of 136,351 farms and agricultural companies since the start of the global economic crisis in 2007.

The Italian president added that "agricultural activities should be supported through incisive policies to simplify administrative procedures and develop innovation". "They help to protect the environment by reducing the risk of hydrogeological damage and provide important opportunities for the younger generations to promote successful entrepreneurial initiatives, including in the agritourism sector".