Together with the strawberry, the PGI Senise pepper is a characteristic product of the local heritage of the region of Basilicata; both of them generate quite high yields for farmers compared to other fruit and vegetables grown in the same region. However, until ten years ago, there were only a few certified hectares under cultivation (about 7), despite its ever-growing recognition.
Transplants of the Peperone di Senise Igp (PGI Senise pepper)
"This is a vegetable that has recently gone from being a niche item to being nationally and even internationally popular," says Enrico Fanelli, president of the consortium for the protection of the PGI Senise pepper (Consorzio di Tutela del Peperone di Senise IGP). "It cannot be considered as an ordinary pepper that you harvest and put on the fresh market, since almost the entire production is sold as dried and then processed. Both the bizarre climatic trend, that has led to a sharp reduction in yields, and also the increased demand from operators, could generate a limited availability in the coming months, to the point of zero stocks in June at the farms' storehouses."
Handmade braided peppers
"More and more consumers are starting to discover it and seek it out, as they are intrigued by its careful processing and drying. Buyers have been telling us that they have been buying it regularly, even though prices aren't low. What is needed, however, is a more structured sales network, which is willing to offer this reference on the catalogue with all its different formats. In 2019, we had 9 companies adhering to the Consortium. Now there are 40, with a total of around 60 dedicated hectares."
Peppers in the drying phase
"The increase in surface areas was in part due to regional funds (varying from 15 to 30 thousand euros) for those who decided to increase their PGI production. "The increase in new entries and extra hectares has been confirmed even after the deadline of these economic subsidies. There is great potential for the Senise pepper. We believe we will soon reach 60 member companies," concluded Fanelli.
For more information:
Consorzio di Tutela del Peperone Di Senise IGP
Tel.: (+39) 392 6818939