‘Without farmers the mountains die’, Mauro Corona’s message to Agrimont

At Longarone Fiere Dolomiti the writer spoke about drought and agriculture

Regional councillor Federico Caner was also present for the conference on beekeeping

“Agriculture is life. And it is especially so in the highlands, where it represents maintenance, care, work and sacrifice. Without farmers, the mountains die’. A loud and clear message from Mauro Corona, guest of honour at Longarone Fiere Dolomiti.

On the last day of Agrimont, the writer from Ertano, a regular at the exhibition space, stopped by the Mountain Agriculture Exhibition, in search of a chainsaw. He arrived early in the morning – bandana on his head – and received the badge of honour from the president of Longarone Fiere Dolomiti and the mayor. Then, the crowds thronged among the stands, on a Sunday that immediately registered a queue at the entrance.
Between one photo and the next, much sought after by visitors and Agrimont stand-holders, Corona spoke about the value of agriculture in general, and mountain agriculture in particular.
“About ten years ago I wrote the book ‘The End of the Crooked World’. It is the tale of a world hurtling towards destruction, which is saved by farmers, by those who manage to produce survival with their hands,” said Corona, interviewed at Agrimont. “I come to all the fairs in Longarone and this year I have seen a greater attendance. We have rediscovered the return to the land, to the simple vegetable garden, to the geranium, to mowing, to looking after the woods. In Milan they have understood this: they are making vertical gardens, small gardens are being created in the buildings, obtaining space even where there is none. They have understood that man without agriculture is dead. Politicians, after all, what do they eat? Trump, Biden, Putin… they eat the produce of the earth. From there there is no escape. And one must understand that today it is necessary to put aside the products of the earth, not money, to make the world suffer less. Set aside grain, pulses, cheese… and water’.

Federico Caner also spoke about water and drought. The regional councillor for agriculture and tourism brought greetings to the Apidolomiti conference on beekeeping, which focused on climate change. And he focused attention on a problem that is atypical for the highlands, but of pressing relevance: that of water shortage.
“Mountain people are careful and know the value of water, but I say it all the same: be careful not to waste water resources,” said the regional councillor. “Today in Italy there is a loss of about 50 per cent from the pipes. Investments and infrastructure are needed. Lakes and reservoirs must be cleaned, reservoirs must be built. The mountains must be put in a position to retain water when it is there, to be able to manage it in times of drought. This is why we have asked the government for important interventions, including modifying the National Water Resources Plan (Pnrr) to act on the front of protection and proper water management’.

Councillor Caner took a tour of the stands, and a visit to the Arav (Veneto Regional Breeders’ Association) farm set up as usual at Longarone Fiere Dolomiti. ‘It is essential to preserve mountain agriculture and animal husbandry, otherwise a priceless heritage will be lost. The work of farmers and breeders is also of great importance for combating hydrogeological instability and is also of great value for tourism. This is precisely why we are helping them especially in the high mountains. It is not for nothing that a large part of the contributions that the Region makes available through the Psr goes to mountain agriculture,’ Caner explained. ‘Tourism and agriculture go hand in hand, they are two sides of the same coin. Let’s think, for example, of typical local products, which are highly appreciated by tourists and by those who want to have a taste experience. We are enhancing these products to ensure that local cuisine and production are preserved’.

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