The Italian agricultural market saw growth of less than 3% over the past five years, and stood at a value of less than EUR72 billion by the end of 2011.
The market grew well through 2006-2008, but experienced a drop over 2009-2011, when the recession hit. As a result, the market faced its highest decline in 2009, decreasing by 7% from the previous year.
Most farms in Italy are relatively small, with the average size being approximately seven hectares (about 17 acres). Moreover, the great majority of local companies are family-operated and small. Therefore, the agriculture industry in Italy is highly fragmented. The main agricultural regions in Italy are Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Veneto, Umbria and Trentino-Alto Adige.
In terms of produce, in the South mainly wheat, tobacco, olives, stone fruit, sugar beets and tomatoes are cultivated, while Northern Italy can look back on a strong tradition of pig and cattle breeding. The cultivation of wine, however, is widely spread throughout Italy and wine is a major export good of the country.
While companies were clearly the most important buyers of agricultural products, with an average 60% of total local consumption over 2005-2011, their importance decreased from 61% in 2005 to 58% in 2011. Similarly, households increased their consumption share from 39% to 43% of the total agricultural market in Italy throughout the past five years.
The future looks bright for the Italian agricultural market. The industry is expected to return to growth from the stagnation in annual terms seen during the first decade of the new millennium. The recovering economic situation will also influence the recovery of the agricultural sector in Italy.
For more information on the Italian agricultural market, see the latest research: Italian Agricultural Market
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