JJ28_intervista gattoni

Between Cities, Agriculture & Innovation

The president of the Italian Biogas Consortium: “Speeding up the ecological transition is the way”

On the one hand, the energy crisis, on the other, the difficulty in supplying chemical fertilizers. The world of agriculture must focus on the current challenges, instead of the future ones. Piero Gattoni, president of the Italian Biogas Consortium, stresses the need to speed up the ecological transition. This issue affects the whole Country without distinction, as highlighted in Caorle, during the only Venetian stage of the Consortium’s national tour.  
  • Can the biogas production be an opportunity? A circular production model not only is more sustainable from an environmental point of view, but makes farms more competitive. The production of biogas stimulates the agroecological transition of companies.
  • How is it possible to produce gas? Agricultural matrices start from zootechnical effluents, which regard anaerobic digestion as an energetic enhancement. The management in closed environments then avoids the release of emissions.
  • What can be further enhanced? Agri-food by-products and integration cultures, i.e. second-harvest crops. Through the production of digestate, downstream of the process, we can get some fertilizer and bring organic substance back to the soil, resulting in environmental benefits and savings.
  • What is the situation of the agricultural sector? The values of the raw materials used in the livestock sector have almost doubled. Costs have risen due to the war in Ukraine: Countries tend to keep their raw materials instead of selling them. Then there is a major impact on the energy cost, in particular of fuels, because farms are particularly energy-intensive. Raw material producers face higher production costs, together with the difficulty in finding chemical fertilizers.
  • The Recovery and Resilience Plan includes incentives in this field … Exactly. It includes specific measures for the conversion and promotion of new biomethane plants and agroecological transition technologies.
  • What kind of companies can turn their activities into this type of business? Anaerobic digestion is necessarily combined with livestock production. Even the smallest companies can produce biogas. Obviously, consortia or cooperatives may be developed.
  • Why are you meeting farms all over Italy? Our goal is to show that our vision of future agriculture is already feasible. We have everything that is needed, technologies and know-how. Those who work in this sector must be trained and encouraged to invest in new technologies.
Jesolo journal Aprile 2022

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