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Is a possible disaster around the corner?

Drought in Sicily: risk of fruit drop for citrus fruits

It has not been raining for months or, actually, it has not been raining as it should for years, and aquifers have shrunk. Reservoirs have therefore not been filled, so some have been empty for quite some time and others have reached a very low level.

Corrado Vigo, an expert agronomist who has worked for the National Council of Agronomists and taken part in the "Citrus fruit expert table" of the European Commission for Agriculture, has provided his opinion as regards this situation.

"We could say that summer 2024 could be summed up in just a few words: we are looking for the lost water. The problems growers and breeders have to deal with are increasingly complex and tragic. We still need to face July and August, and temperatures tend to remain high in September too, so plants still need a lot of water."

"The only exception is the Lentini lake, where there are currently 75 million cubic meters of unused water. The Catania plain, where most of the Sicilian citrus fruit is located, in instead parched. Things are not looking good. The drops that usually occur in June have increased as a reaction to the drought."

As head agronomist, Corrado Vigo examines the Catania plain and all of eastern Sicily almost daily. Thanks to his constant presence on the territory, Vigo has direct experience of the difficult situation many companies have to deal with.

"Those who still have some groundwater have seen the levels in their wells drop considerably and have to bear very high costs to irrigate. What is lacking is a Sicilian agricultural policy with a long-term vision."

"A water policy is also lacking, meaning consortia currently only produce unsustainable tax bills that are unjustifiably high. Over the past few months, Sicilian politics has been trying to solve what has not been done in 40 years. Unfortunately, one or two months are not enough."

Producers continue to hope for rain, while the north of the country is dealing with precipitations that are out of control.

For more information:
Dott. Corrado Vigo
Tel: +39 3487952243
Email: [email protected]

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