Testimonials from two growers. Mario Santarcangelo: “We are very satisfied with the positive feedback from the market”. Francesco Cirigliano: “I will continue to plant it, I would like to more than double the area”.
For several years now, Basilicata has been a leading region for Italian strawberry cultivation, particularly the Metaponto Plain (Matera), thanks to its mild climate, fertile soil and geographical position. In the Scanzano-Policoro area, it is estimated that almost 1,000 hectares have been planted with strawberries.
In this area, companies in Basilicata are increasingly investing in CIV commercial varieties, in particular the cultivar FLAVIApbr, which is characterised by early ripening, medium vigour, easy-to-harvest fruit outside the foliage, high resistance to powdery mildew and leaf and root diseases in general, excellent flavour, very sweet, with low acidity and a high percentage of extra-quality fruit. It is also suitable for tired soils and has shown good adaptability to the practice of continuous cropping and organic or low environmental impact cultivation. This year the transplanting of fresh bare-root seedlings started in the first week of October. For FLAVIApbr the 2022 campaign is the one of the productive take-off, the surfaces have increased from about 10 ha to 30 ha and if the positive trend will be confirmed it is expected to double to at least 50-60 ha in 2023.
The variety, thanks to its earliness and its qualitative characteristics, is responding very well in production and commercial terms with an increase in awareness of it among the customers served (both Retailer and Normal Trade Channels Distribution) with very positive feedback on the market. This year production was good until January, then the cold wave of the last 20-30 days brought production to a standstill in general, not just for FLAVIApbr, to the point where quantities could not meet market demand. So far the production per plant (as of 1 March) has reached 130 grams of fruit with excellent colouring, bright red on 98% of the surface, and with top flavour and sweetness (average 12-13 degrees brix).
CIV collected the testimonies of two Metaponto growers with different company sizes.
The Fratelli Santarcangelo farm has 20 hectares of strawberries in Scanzano Ionico out of a total of 35 cultivated with vegetables, stone fruit and citrus fruits. The FLAVIApbr variety,” says Mario Santarcangelo, “we tried it with satisfaction a few years ago and in this 2021-22 campaign we decided to plant 200,000 fresh bare-root seedlings at the beginning of October, which bore their first fruit in December. We are satisfied: in spite of the adverse weather conditions, the plant confirmed its qualities: earliness, disease resistance, adaptability even to less fertile soils, nice regular shaped fruit, medium size, bright red, attractive, really sweet”. Commercially, FLAVIApbr “is working well, also thanks to a related marketing initiative”. The next campaign? “We will certainly confirm our investments, indeed we will increase them to at least 300-350,000 seedlings on 5 hectares of surface, provided that market conditions are right and that we are able to contain management and operating costs, which have now risen to unbearable levels.
Francesco Cirigliano grows 3 hectares of strawberries in the Policoro Tursi area, on a 7-hectare farm that includes citrus, fruit and vegetables. In recent years, he has increased the number of Flaviapbr transplants to 40,000 fresh bare-root plants this year from the 25,000 he started with. He has been harvesting since mid-January: “As with all varieties, I had some small colour problems at the beginning of the marketing year due to the low temperatures, but then we harvested a uniformly coloured, good-sized product. The fruit is sweet and the market is responding very well, especially in terms of remuneration. Will you continue to focus on FLAVIApbr in 2023? “Yes of course, I would like to plant around 100,000. Personally,” Cirigliano concludes, “I am happy with this variety as a quality strawberry and as a market response, and I think that, compared to other new varieties and their development projects, it would be good to publicise and promote it more, because it deserves it”.
Sheet / CIV Strawberry breeding programme
Active since 1984, it has developed along four lines of research: strawberries for temperate Mediterranean climates, for continental climates, everbearing and varieties suitable for industrial processing. The use of traditional techniques and the development of new varieties that guarantee high production and excellent quality fruit, together with the natural rusticity and vigour of the plants, are the primary objectives of the CIV in order to offer the national and international markets not only quality but also maximum eco-sustainability.
Sheet / CIV – Italian Nursery Consortium
The CIV – Italian Nursery Consortium – is a leader in Italy in varietal innovation and the production of certified propagation materials. Active since 1983, based in San Giuseppe di Comacchio, in the province of Ferrara, the CIV is made up of three leading Italian nurseries in the sector: Vivai Mazzoni, Salvi Vivai, Tagliani Vivai. Through synergy, experience and significant investments in research, CIV is able to offer cutting-edge products that are more responsive to market needs. The CIV, with great foresight, has been committed for years to selecting varieties that can provide high-quality productions with reduced energy requirements and low environmental impact. Overall, the three nurseries produce about 5 million rootstocks, 3.5 million apple, pear, and stone fruit plants, 250 million strawberry plants every year. CIV is a founding member of the International New-varieties Network (INN), a worldwide association of nurseries that promotes the exchange, evaluation, and marketing of new varieties in the main production areas around the world.