There are some six officers patrolling during the day time and another shift goes on upto 12 in the night. There is talk of police helicoptering too.
Sounds like some high category protection for a VIP? Well, it is a VIP indeed but a very different kind – they are protecting the emerald of Sicily. This is pistacchio verde di Bronte, or green pistachio from Bronte, the most expensive pistachio in the world. As the harvest season nears, the 230-odd farmers need police patrolling as it attracts thieves in droves.
These pistachio’s the best on the this earth account for just 1% of global production, it grows across some 7400 acres on the slopes on Etna, an active volcano.
These are super expensive – one kilo of the unshelled seeds cost around $17.40, which is more than double the price of the pistachios from the US and Iran. It costs more because their seeds both taste better, and keep their bright green colour for longer. The tress give crops only every alternate year and they have to be picked one-by-one by hands only.
This year in September, the harvest season, there is hope that it would be better than 1250 tonnes of 2017, which again was down from 1400 tonnes in 2015.
Well, you don’t needs thieves; the climate change and drastic weather itself is robbing Sicily of its harvest. How do you police that?