War on Wheat

             Mussolini’s Battle of Wheat encourages farmers to concentrate on wheat production in a drive for self-sufficiency; by 1935 the wheat imports had been cut by 75 percent.  

            At the opening of the first national Wheat Exhibition in Rome, Dictator Mussolini declared his satisfaction with this year's crop, assessed at 275 million tons, but called attention to the fact that the goal of 375 million tons a year was still a long way off, the figure at which, literally speaking, Italy will become self-supporting.

            According to Il Duce himself, "Our 'battle of wheat' cannot be won in only one year. But the possibility of winning it exists. Nobody now doubts that it is possible to increase the average yield per acre. Wheat must be raised wherever possible by intensive methods. Zones giving a high yield per unit of area must be generalized. Some people think it is possible to arrive at 100 quintals [five tons] per hectare [nearly two and a half acres] and I also believe that Italian agriculture can still advance far on the road to perfection."