Italy plans to invest 3 billion euros (3.06 million U.S. dollars) to transition 25% of the country’s agricultural land to organic by 2027.
The decision to transition the land to organic was spurred by a new study on sustainable strategies to limit the spread of pests and disease in Italy. The study found that organic vegetable farms can cut phytosanitary treatments by 40% compared to conventional farms.
The OrtoAmbiente study, which was financed by the northern Italian region Emilia-Romagna, measured the beneficial impact of an integrated organic approach to crop defense over the last three years.
Researchers at the University of Bologna, who conducted the study, have shown that applying best practices, such as fostering biodiversity, can significantly reduce the use of chemicals and production costs.
The study’s results confirmed the decision by the Italian government and farmer associations to transition more land to organic agriculture.