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Italian farmers have turned to their counterparts in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan to fight abandonment and the loss of the farming tradition on the island of Sardinia.
In a fresh attempt to solve rural recruitment problems, Italy’s agriculture trade group Coldiretti has looked 6,000 miles away to Kyrgyzstan to recruit shepherds skilled in Sardinian specialities, such as cheesemaking from goat and sheep milk, along with horse breeding.
Coldiretti said on Monday it had signed a deal with the labour ministry in Biškek to enable the transfer of a group of local shepherds and their families to deserted areas of Sardinia on special job contracts.
The agreement between Coldiretti and the Kyrgyz government marked the first pilot project of its kind and came as Italy’s agriculture minister Francesco Lollobrigida called on the EU to “defend [farming] as a…