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Agri-food sector vital for Italy

The current government was born to give the answers to Italians in period that is particularly difficult for our country. After the first 100 days of this new adventure I am convinced that part of the work has been done, but there is a lot more to do. I have done my best as Ministry of agriculture, working with passion and determination in order to make the Made in Italy agriculture a real driving force of our recovery.
From the beginning of my work I have paid attention to the suspension of the Imu tax for agricultural lands and rural buildings: we have obtained it, but it is not enough. I will continue to insist on this issue, because I believe that it is possible to reach the complete elimination of this unjust tax. I pushed for the law against soil consumption and I worked hard in order to see, in the Law Decree ‘del fare’, inserted the measures aimed at favouring simplification and modernisation of the agricultural sector such. I paid particular attention to the agricultural cooperatives that are working in disadvantaged conditions, in favour of which fiscal facilitations and bureaucratic simplifications were decided. Therefore, thanks to the legislative decree, approved in the end of June, we can give answers to the agri-food sector, especially on the issue of the rationalisation and modernisation of the sector. The aim will be to activate effective tools with which we will be able to intervene on such issues as the fight against irregular and submerged economy, traceability, labelling and support of the young people involved in agriculture.
As Minister of agricultural food and forestry policies I was in the front lines, in Brussels, during the negotiations on the Cap and Cfp reforms. These are two agreements at the EU level on which our agriculture and fishery sector depend upon. In both cases we have highlighted some important needs of our country and in many cases these were acknowledged. We arranged a number of interventions that will be concretized in the Expo 2015, with the aim to present the numerous agri-food excellences of our country.
In these 100 days we have paid much attention on the counterfeiting and imitation of our productions. I believe that the “Made in Italy” is a real added value, the most precious asset that our agri-food system can boast. The protection of our productions passes also through the interminesterial decree that prohibits the GMO corn cultivation on the Italian territory. The measure protects the specificity of Italian agriculture, safeguards it from homologation and is the first answer to define a new arrangement for the GMO cultivation throughout our territory.
Following a request made by me also the agricultural organisations entered the Cabin of direction for International Italy, the operative tool that allows to coordinate the policies of our country on the issue of internalisation. It is an important recognition for the support to agri-food export that only in 2012 produced more than 30 billion euro.
As you can see much has been done and much more is still to be done. I believe that agriculture and agri-food are two basis of a country, and we need to work more in order to put them at the centre of attention.

by Nunzia De Girolamo
02 september 2013, The Opinion > Editorial

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