High quality food products are confirmed to be a significant component of the Italian agricultural sector. They represent a competitiveness factor among local agricultural enterprises, and contribute to maintain and strengthen human settlements, and develop mountainous and hilly areas, where there are over three quarters of producers (76.3%). From 2006 to 2016, processors grew by 31.7%, and producers by 26.0%, from 62,539 to 78,784; the female component was still very small, with only two women out of 10.
In 2016 the distribution of straight fertilisers in agriculture increased compared to 2015, with 0,12 tons per hectare of Utilized agricultural area (Uaa); 1,434,466 tons of straight fertilisers (+12.1%) were distributed, keeping pace with the total distribution of fertilisers (+11.6%, or 4,514,916 tons). Plant protection products distributed amounted to 124.1 million kilograms, containing just over 60 million kilograms of active substances (-4.8% compared to 2015). A decrease was registered also in the Utilised agricultural area (Uaa), from 5.10 kilograms per hectare of Uaa in 2015 to 4.85.
Agritourism confirmed its structural upward trend, representing a key resource for the multifunctionality of businesses and for the national agricultural sector: between 2006 and 2016 agritourism farms increased by 35.2%, from 16,765 to 22,661. More than one agritourism farm out of three was run by women (36.0%), a share that remained substantially stable over the last three years. Women-run farms grew by 1.6% over the previous year, stabilising in 2016 at 8,159.