The Italian government has announced that it will buy 100,000 Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses and 100,000 Grana Padano cheeses in an attempt to help producers who are struggling with rising costs and falling demand.

Under the plan, spearheaded by Italy's Minister of Agriculture Luca Zaia, the government will distribute the cheese to the needy.

According to agriculture group Coldiretti, around one-third of the 430 Parmesan makers in and around the city of Parma are struggling to stay afloat in the currenct economic climate.

"Things are very hard. But with the government's help to sustain the industry through this difficult time we are certain that makers of this historic product will emerge stronger," a spokesperson for the group told just-food.

According to reports, it has been estimated that the plan will cost Italian taxpayers in the region of EUR50m (US$68.3m).