The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak seems to be primarily harming the agricultural sector of Italy’s economy. According to Lorenzo Bazzana, a business manager at Coldiretti, Italy’s largest association of small farms and agricultural producers, the quarantine measures that Romania has imposed are creating hardships for agricultural producers.
Bazzana declared to the publication Earth Day that thousands of Romanian workers are afraid to go back to work on various Italian farms because the Romanian government is demanding that all citizens arriving back from Italy go into quarantine for two weeks.
(Editor’s comment: The Romanian government’s quarantine measures are being imposed in an effort to forestall the spread of the COVID-19 infection inside Romania. Those who return from Italy have to self-isolate themselves in their homes for 14 days. The position of the authorities is definitely justifiable, as so far the majority of the reported coronavirus patients have become infected with the disease in Italy.)
“About a quarter of Italy’s agro-food production depends on foreign workers. Every year, more than 370,000 seasonal workers come to Italy from 155 countries. Nevertheless, most of the workers, about 107,000 people, are from Romania,” stated Bazzana. When asked if it is really a fact that there are not enough laborers in Italian agriculture, the manager of Coldiretti affirmed: “Absolutely. And the largest community of workers in this industry is the Romanian one.”
More than one million Romanian citizens work all across Italy in various sectors of the Mediterranean country’s economy.
Title image: Most of the agricultural workers in Italy are Romanian, more than 100,000 people