Italian frost hits fruit production again-

Italy: Severe frost damages half of yellow kiwifruit production in central region

More News Top Stories
Italy: Severe frost damages half of yellow kiwifruit production in central region

The Italian fruit industry has been struck by another severe late-season frost, this time in the central Lazio region.

A sudden drop in temperatures many degrees below zero for over 10 hours at the beginning of the week caused heavy damage to fruit and vegetables, local website Italia Fruit [in Italian] reported.

There has been severe damage to yellow kiwifruit production as well as impacts on pome fruit and stone fruit. Many vegetable crops have also been wiped out.

The weather event comes one week after a similarly severe frost in the country's northern Emilia-Romagna region caused "enormous" damage to fruit production.

Whole crops of asparagus, carrots, artichokes, fennel, turnips and beets have reportedly been damaged in Lazio. In addition, there was a large proportion of peach, apricot, plum, pear and apple trees in full bloom or with small buds or fruits that have been affected.

“In particular, we lost 50% of the production of the yellow kiwifruit," said David Granieri, president of regional agricultural association Coldiretti Lazio.

He added that tree nuts including almonds and hazelnuts were also impacted.

"This is a heavy blow for farmers at a time when they are committed to guaranteeing supplies to Italian families amid the Coronavirus emergency," he said.

"Italians are now seeking vitamins to help strengthen their immune system against the virus. The expenditure of fruit and vegetables by families has jumped by 16% in national supermarkets, according to the IRI data for the last week available."

Subscribe to our newsletter