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"2016 a good year for Italian pepper growers""2016 was a good year for peppers. Prices and yields were positive for greenhouse producers, while open field produce was affected by weather problems. The early rain in late summer, for example, compromised yields," explains Giovanni Orioli, pepper sales specialist of Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds.
Antonio Tribastone and Giovanni Orioli from Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds.
Producers are rather demotivated during this campaign. The volumes currently found on the market come mostly from Spain with a few volumes from Sicily (Lamuyo).
Drop in cultivated areas
"There was an additional drop in cultivated areas compared to last year. This was down to an increase in production costs, due to the weather of the past few years and to the diseases and viruses requiring increasing attention."
"In particular, in order to tackle climate change, specialised producers should maybe focus on semi-protected crops. This would increase average yields, preserve quality and counter parasite attacks. At the same time, it would be a way to use the help envisaged by Rural Development Programmes."
According to Orioli, innovative techniques such as mobile polytunnels must be introduced, as they would enable producers to shift harvests, grow larger quantities and have double the chances on the market (fresh and processing industries). Imports would be reduced as well.
In fact, while 40-50 tons are produced on average on open fields, mobile polytunnels could lead to 90 tons. "A higher productivity would compensate the investment."
Bayer CropScience meeting at Agriemporio Vivai
On 21st March 2017, a meeting attended by Giovanni Orioli and Antonio Tribastone from Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds as well as Luigi Strazzanti (in the photo below), owner and technical-sales manager of Agriemporio Vivai, was held in Barrafranca. In addition to specialising in the supply of certified pepper plants, the company also grows peppers both in open field and greenhouses.
After illustrating the current situation on the market, Orioli and Tribastone talked about the Pepper range. The participants appreciated the initiative and it emerged that varietal renewal and a better organisation of the production chain are needed.
Over the past few years, the increasing market demand for Italian peppers is leading established producers and new business to increase cultivated areas. During the meeting, commercialisation was discussed to identify the most profitable windows as well as the varietal characteristics of new Bayer hybrids. In addition, the option to sell the produce to the processing industry was also analysed.
Production is focused in the Barrafranca and Mazzarino areas but companies from Gela and Vittoria also attended. The production area has particular conditions due to the fact that it is located 400 metres above sea level, it has a clayey soil and sweet water. Thanks to this ideal habitat, the produce needs less treatments and is ideal for both the fresh produce and processing industries.
The interest of the processing industry for open-field peppers has grown. Andrea Pasqua from Gias-Cotrapa explained that "we are very interested in open-field crops in Sicily and are involved in projects to collect the produce already starting this year."
For further information:
Giovanni Orioli - sales specialist pepper
Cell.: +39 348 3955439
Antonio Tribastone - sales specialist melon and pepper Sicily
Cell.: +39 347 2453071
Publication date: 4/7/2017
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