The essay focuses on the institutional and technical elements that made Lombard agriculture a modern sector, capable not only to ensure subsistence to three millions people, but also to supply raw materials to local and foreign industries, and in general to give a remarkable contribute to the regional economy, both private and public. Assuming the differences among the low plains and the hills, the chapter examines their growth in labor and land investments, productivity in agriculture and in livestock, and interactions with the markets. The “high farming” model, characterizing the Lombardy plain since the early modern age, consolidated and spread beyond its traditional borders. Its specialization in dairy farming grew parallel to the intensification of market crops such as rice, which reached yields among the highest in Italy. Technical assets and outputs of the irrigated agriculture attracted a great interest from experts and foreign governments. Also in the hills and the high plain, the dry area, agriculture intensified on the initiatives of its landowners and farmers. The important position developed by the Lombard silk in the international market was based mainly on this small-scale agriculture. In general, the region seems to participate to the international division of labour as an agricultural area. But the rural Lombardy developed also strong internal connections with other sectors and markets, contributing to generate new economic equilibria.
|Title of host publication||Leading the Economic Risorgimento. Lombardy in the 19th century|
|Editors||S.A. Conca Messina|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
|Name||ROUTLEDGE INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN BUSINESS HISTORY|
- Agricultural History