I am proud of my origins and happy to live in my land, but I often see, on TV or in the newspapers, the story of a Calabria region inhabited by laundering people, addicted to the underworld, who make a living by subtracting state money with mezzucci and cronyism.
Caution, I certainly do not say that the Ndrangheta does not exist in Calabria or that the Calabrian people are an example of productivity, but certain messages induce mistaken beliefs in public opinion, creating an aura of suspicion about anything that comes from this unfortunate region.
Because we don't talk more about what Calabria represents in Italian agriculture: it is the second producer of citrus fruits with 850,000 tons per year, second producer of extra virgin oil with 33% of the total produced in Italy, second producer of avocado. . . Yes, I know, the Calabrian avocado is a niche fruit and for now it represents a successful attempt by courageous entrepreneurs, but it is strongly growing and thanks to some peculiar climatic characteristics of our region, it could certainly have, indeed will have, a notable development.
Just a few days ago I had a heated discussion with a Tuscan, a nice and easy-going man, but convinced of the organoleptic superiority of his oil and that of his region.
I spent the whole evening explaining and illustrating the unexpressed potential of Calabrese oil, today it is used above all to make volumes of non-local oils, unfortunately lacking in its own valorisation and related advertising support.
It is true, except for a few virtuous cases, agriculture in Calabria, and especially in the province of Reggio, is still in the 1950s. The few existing cooperatives are either ghosts (in the sense that they exist on paper to make money in the EEC), or they work badly as they do not represent that potential driving force capable of making the region change course. Farmers are unwilling to unite and form what in technical terms is called "Agricultural District": the districts, in fact, could be production systems in which companies have the opportunity to act synergistically with the establishment of a real certified supply chain and protected.
Science fiction, no I don't think so. Only a spirit of initiative and the ability to be a group, as well as awareness that strength must not come from politics but from the will of individuals.
Citrus fruits, extra virgin olive oil, avocado: these are crops in which our territory is voted and which could represent its fortune and the future. Young people should,
with the enthusiasm of their age, look at agriculture with different eyes, in a more entrepreneurial way, thinking that the time has come to go it alone, maybe daring a little, renewing the way of managing and thinking about the farm , taking advantage of the favorable economic moment and the available financing.
Calabria and the Calabrians are not what is currently represented, they are a land and a proud people who need to believe more in their means, and agriculture, together with tourism, is a means to reassure oneself, demonstrating this to everyone. we are capable of.
In my little, I hope to be able to move that cloak of indifference and listlessness that prevents us from looking to a different and brighter future for our children. Or at least I'll try with all my heart!