Vol. 11 No. 1 (2022)
Full Research Articles

Italian farms during the COVID-19 pandemic: main problems and future perspectives. A direct analysis through the italian FADN

Luca Cesaro
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (CREA PB)
Antonio Giampaolo
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (CREA PB)
Francesca Giarè
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (CREA PB)
Roberta Sardone
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (CREA PB)
Alfonso Scardera
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (CREA PB)
Laura Viganò
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Agricultural Policies and Bioeconomy (CREA PB)
Published July 20, 2022
Keywords
  • COVID-19,
  • farms,
  • farm income,
  • Italy,
  • FADN
How to Cite
Cesaro, L., Giampaolo, A., Giarè, F., Sardone, R., Scardera, A., & Viganò, L. (2022). Italian farms during the COVID-19 pandemic: main problems and future perspectives. A direct analysis through the italian FADN. Bio-Based and Applied Economics, 11(1), 21-36. https://doi.org/10.36253/bae-9552

Abstract

The spread of the COVID-19 virus in Italy during the first phasis of the pandemic (February-May 2020) has caused a large-scale crisis, with an almost immediate decrease of industrial production and a consequent contraction in domestic consumption and external trade. However, the issue of food security was immediately recognized as one of the most sensitive, so that the Government has decreed the priority role of the food system, which has been included among those considered fundamental services and economically essential, allowing the related activities to be carried out during the lockdown. Agricultural production activities transformation, and commercialization remained fully operative during the lockdown; nevertheless, the sector has faced many difficulties related to the contraction of some of the marketing channels (restaurants, on farm sales, agritourism, problems with the logistics and many other ones). To better understand the effects of the initial phasis of the pandemic on the Italian agricultural sector and provide useful information to the government and decision makers, a survey was carried out with a CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) sent to over 10,000 farmers belonging to the sample of the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). The number of respondents has been of 733 farms, which represents around 7% of the Italian FADN sample. The results of the questionnaire have been matched with FADN data on the structure and the economic performance of farms, allowing a more precise evaluation of the condition and effects of the pandemic. The results highlight a relevant effect of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency on the agricultural sector: 37% of the interviewed farmers declared a significant liquidity crisis, while 60% predicted a contraction in turnover. These effects are more relevant for the wine, olives, and horticulture types of farming and more frequent in medium/large farms. A better situation has been found for farms which usually outsource processing and/or marketing/sale of the products.

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