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Building the resilience of Italy’s agricultural sector to drought

Increasingly frequent and severe droughts are threatening Italy’s agricultural sector. With climate change forecast to accelerate these trends, the sector must build long-term resilience. This will require better planning and preparing for, absorbing the impact of, and recovering from droughts, as well as more successfully adapting and transforming in response to these events. Recent positive developments include improved data collection on water supplies and agricultural damage and loss from natural hazards to better inform water management and investment decisions; strengthened commitment to ex ante risk management frameworks; and more participatory approaches for water management. Nevertheless, the agricultural policy portfolio currently underemphasises investments in on-farm preparedness and adaptation, in favour of coping tools such as insurance. Further efforts to build agricultural resilience could benefit from a holistic, long-term sectoral risk management strategy; an evaluation of the trade-offs between spending on risk coping tools versus investments in natural hazard preparedness and measures to mitigate their impacts; and more explicit consideration of farmer demographics and capacities in policy design.

Published on June 01, 2021

In series:OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papersview more titles