Italian olive trees are being sold off for a record $2.5 billion, as the country’s olive industry faces a serious economic downturn.
The Italian market, once the world’s biggest, is on the brink of extinction, as a lack of cash and a looming economic crisis have made it impossible for farmers to raise olive trees.
Italian officials said they expected the harvest of the year’s crop, known as “plano” in Italy, to be down by around 30 percent compared with last year.
The country is also struggling with a severe shortage of fertilizers, and the government is working on a new plan to alleviate the problem.
In February, the government announced plans to sell more than 20 million olive trees for the first time in more than 30 years.
The auctions are the first since the government began auctioning off the land in the 1980s.
But many farmers are disappointed with the price of the olive trees, and are looking for alternatives.
They are turning to a growing market of other crops, such as wheat, sugar cane and soybeans, which have all grown since the auction.