Tuscan agriculture today: trends between the two Istat censuses

By Sara Turchetti

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This study is part of the IRPET-Regione Toscana joint activities in 2023 and was commissioned to IRPET by the Managing Authority of the EAFRD in agreement with the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of Regione Toscana. The document represents IRPET’s contribution to the Fourth Regional Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development, 21-22 June 2023. ‘Sowing Sustainability’. The study was conceived and carried out by Sara Turchetti, with the collaboration of Paolo Chini, within the IRPET’s Productive Sectors and Enterprises area. Marco Mariani and Renato Paniccià provided consulting services.

This study draws a picture of Tuscany’s agricultural production system. The first data from the 2020 census reveal the critical aspects of a sector that has lost enterprises and utilised agricultural areas in the space of a decade. On the positive side, the data also suggest how much of the sector remains capable of extracting value from its production. However, the progressive specialisation in productions of excellence, such as wine, or in related activities, risks limiting the achievement of other policy-relevant objectives, such as the reduction of food dependency, the propagation of short supply chains and the maintenance of biodiversity.

Despite many public policy efforts, the ageing process of agricultural entrepreneurship is far from coming to a halt. However, hopes for renewal can only continue to rest on the role of the younger generations: young farmers are better educated and have a higher level of specialised training in agricultural studies than older ones, an important prerequisite for professionalisation, modernisation and the dissemination of new sustainable production practices in the sector. A further challenge for policy concerns the valorisation of the female entrepreneurial component, which in Tuscany is far from small and typically shows a high propensity for innovation, green investments and diversification.

Authors: Ideato e realizzato da Sara Turchetti, con la collaborazione di Paolo Chini, nell’ambito dell’area Settori Produttivi e Imprese dell’IRPET. Hanno prestato consulenza Marco Mariani e Renato Paniccià