Environment Italian farms will be "zero carbon" in 10 years

by Sabrina Meyer
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Photo: Imago / Independent Photo Agency Int.

Much has been done in recent decades to reduce the ecological footprint of Italian animal husbandry, even if there is no lack of improvement objectives linked to innovation, research and technology transfer for this important supply chain. This is the synthesis of what emerged from the intervention of the Advisory Committee of the Georgofili.

The contribution of Italian zootechnics to greenhouse gas emissions is modest and constantly decreasing, representing 5.2% of the national total. Ammonia emissions are down. Real water footprint numbers have been published: 100-300 l of water for one liter of milk, and 500-1000 l of water for 1 kg of meat.

The Italian animal production chains represent about half of the national agri-food value, contribute to the export of made in Italy, employ about 150,000 people, cover 40% of the national rural territory, counteract the depopulation and degradation of “Internal areas” and are custodians of cultural and gastronomic traditions that it would be harmful to lose. The scholars of the institution - the Accademia dei Georgofili - considered all the impacts of farms, namely the emission of climate-altering gases, the emission of ammonia and the release of nitrites into water, and the consumption of water resources.

Geflügel
(Bild: Imago / Countrypixel)

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"Zero carbon" is possible

The progressive improvement of the production and management efficiency of the farms can give Italy a glimpse of the ambitious “zero carbon” goal within ten years. The inclusion of the carbon supply chain budget in the group of bonuses envisaged by the next National Rural Development Plan is a primary objective of the next CAP programming cycle for Italy.

Linked is the complete document of the Advisory Committee "Breeding and animal products" for the hearing at the Agriculture and Agri-food Production Commission of the Senate of the Republic, 2 February 2021.

Schwein Stall
(Bild: Imago Images / Photothek)

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