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Peripheral region:

Mezzogiorno Primary Activities

QuestionAnswer
Relief 85% of the region consists of the Apennines. Due to lack of rainfall, limestone is not broken down leading to thin and unproductive soils
Upland areas are unable to support arable farming. Instead, tree crops eg olive trees are grown along the slopes
In summer, goats and sheep are farmed in upland ares, which means only rough grazing is available. Goats and sheep are better adapted to upland areas
Steep slopes in the Mezzogiorno have made the mechanism of farms difficult as machines cannot access the steep land.
As a result, farming in the region remains labor intensive.
In the Plain of Campania, farming is much more productive due to the deep and fertile soils
Climate The Azores high brings constant high pressure to the region over the summer months, which means very little rain falls.
High temperatures lead to high evaporation rates of water in the rivers and soil, leading to drought
over 1 million hectares of land are irrigated in the region
Olives are grown throughout the region in the summers as they are drought resistant because they have thick barks and waxy leaves
Human factors: Land ownership until the 1950's over 70% of the Mezzogiorno's population worked in agriculture. Only 25% of farmers owned their land
The remaining 75% worked in large landlord estates called "latifundia" which were subdivided into minifundia and rented
Minifundia were 3-5 hectares, making it difficult for farmers to pay rent so they overgrazed and overcropped their land
Landlords rarely invested in their estates, meaning farm practices were labour intensive, outdated and expensive
Government Intervention Government attempted to reform agriculture through the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno Scheme
The scheme transferred over 10% of all land in the region from landlords to tenant farmers
The farmers were then trained in more profitable farming methods eg growing cash crops and a greater variety of crops
Irrigation schemes were developed in order to support the intensive production of crops in ares of drought
Autostrada de sole motorway was built to allow easy transport of goods in the region to larger markets in the north
Urbabn centres were developed in order to give farmers access to necessary farm materials and markets
Created by: Megan k