Arab Today, arab today exports soar as italys rice fields find niche markets
Last Updated : GMT 16:29:02
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Exports soar as Italy's rice fields find 'niche markets'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Exports soar as Italy's rice fields find 'niche markets'

A rice farmer checks his submerged plantation near Vercelli
Vercelli - AFP

 The rice fields around Vercelli in northern Italy stretch as far as the eye can see with the snow-capped Alps behind.
The first shoots coming up will eventually end up as fragrant risotto on gourmet tables as far away as China.
Italy is Europe's top rice producer and exports are growing thanks to small-scale farmers who grow premium rice varieties popular with health conscious connoisseurs.
"It's considered a chic product for people who have money," said Sandro Guerrini, who farms 80 hectares with his three brothers on a farm started by their grandparents.
Their production is tiny -- just 400 kilogrammes a year -- but the "Baraggia" variety that they grow commands a far higher price thanks to its EU quality assurance label.
Another variety produced in the area -- "Vialone Nano" -- sells for around 2,000 euros a tonne wholesale, according to the Milan commodities exchange -- compared to a World Bank benchmark price index for rice of 425 euros a tonne.
"It's our great treasure here," said Davide Bonato, chef at "Massimo", a restaurant in the village of Trino in the floodplains of the mighty Po River which crosses the region.
"Rice needs a lot of work! It really is an ancient tradition," said Bonato as he cooked up a varied feast of rice-based delicacies -- from starters to desserts.
There are 250,000 hectares of rice fields along the Po and production last season was around 1.6 million tonnes, according to official data from the agriculture ministry.
The main export market in Europe is Britain -- 45,718 tonnes sold last year compared to 32,074 the year before.
Exports outside the European Union rose to 119,510 tonnes last year from 100,053 tonnes the year before.
They shot up by 139 percent to Turkey -- the biggest market for Italian rice -- and by 47 percent to Russia.
Rice sold to China was just 25 tonnes -- a symbolic amount in a market seen as having a lot of potential for Italy.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said the recent rise in European and US rice exports in the world were helped mainly by "new food habits in developed countries and new market niches in developing countries."
That translates into much-needed jobs in Vercelli, a town of 50,000 people that even has a "Rice Exchange".
"When my parents were running it, a farm like ours employed my father and my uncle. Now after a re-organisation, it employs four people," said Guerrini, adding that he now also makes rice cakes, flour and ready-made risottos.
Local guide Cristian Ferraris, who organises bike tours of the rice fields, said the soil in the region is particularly appropriate for rice cultivation.
"The land is flat and the soil has a lot of clay which means the water stays on the surface," he said, adding that the water also offers protection for the rice shoots.
Rice cultivation was introduced by Cistercian monks from France in the 12th century but it really took off with an irrigation mechanism designed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci -- better known for painting the Mona Lisa.
The centuries that have passed have still not managed to dislodge pasta as the favourite on Italian tables, however.
Asked if rice would ever take over from pasta, Bonato smiled: "It would be great if that was already the case. But we're Italians."

 

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today exports soar as italys rice fields find niche markets Arab Today, arab today exports soar as italys rice fields find niche markets

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Hats, scarves add beauty to women

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions
Arab Today, arab today To release new antiques collection

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection
Arab Today, arab today Air raid kills eight women, child

GMT 06:42 2017 Friday ,17 February

Air raid kills eight women, child
Arab Today, arab today Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 22:45 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic
View News in Arabic - Business: نفط وبتروكيماويات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kidogo provides childcare for underserved

GMT 20:24 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Kidogo provides childcare for underserved
Arab Today, arab today Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera

GMT 17:31 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera
Arab Today, arab today Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity

GMT 07:30 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity
Arab Today, arab today Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 07:05 2017 Friday ,17 February

Singer Diana Karzon will issue a new album soon

GMT 06:40 2017 Friday ,10 February

MP calls for removing text from Islamic story

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

First fashion model with Down syndrome

GMT 10:26 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Emergency UN meeting in Harare

GMT 14:04 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

"Lagom" new Swedish concept in interior design

GMT 12:07 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Bite-mimicking malaria vaccine

GMT 09:03 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Tour guide praises women’s beaches

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 15:16 2017 Sunday ,19 February

Apple to start India operations with iPhone SE

GMT 21:42 2017 Sunday ,12 February

Rania al-Ghazali designs candles of bubbles
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday