Sicily’s fruit farmers adapt produce to changing climate

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Sicilian fruit grower Maruzza Cupane inspects her avocados. Sicilian fruit growers are battling to adapt to climate disruption, as the southern Italian region experiences its driest summer of the last ten years. Temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius in some areas for weeks. The trees of Benedetto Benfatto are usually full at this time of the year, but now, the fruit farmer has to look between dry leaves to find an orange. He often finds a green ball the size of a grape instead. “I have lost nearly everything. There are very few fruits left. The ones that are left are very small,” Benfatto says. Drought and extreme heat have been plaguing the country for some time, transforming the face of the agricultural food sector in southern Italy. Others are finding ways to reinvent themselves amid the changing climate. Maruzza Cupane, a 32-year-old fruit grower who took over a family buisiness, started growing mangoes and avocados instead of oranges and lemons. “These are plants that need a specific climate. A tropical climate. Here on the Sicilian coast we get more and more of that climate,” Cupane said. Watch the full video report in the player above. Trees burn in […]

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