The project, led by Tera Seeds, also involves Conserve Italia and CREA OF
The VA.PO.RE. project has invested two years of research into obtaining a variety that is increasingly adapted to the expectations of growers (productive, resistant, high Brix level) and to the requirements of the industry (without residues and suitable for processing). "Evaluation, dissemination and introduction of new tomato varieties resistant to downy mildew and Alternaria, for the cultivation of processing tomatoes that are healthier and have less environmental impact": this initiative was carried out within the framework of the Emilia-Romagna 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan and more specifically in the context of measures (Mis. 16.1.) aiming to promote the transfer of knowledge and innovation in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas.
"Early results are very encouraging," explained Enrico Belfanti, a correspondent for Tera Seeds, and Stefania Delvecchio, project manager for Ri.Nova. "We started by planting 20 different processing tomato genotypes, selected among hundreds of varieties, resulting from research started years ago and, at the end of the first year of the project, we reduced the shortlist to 4 promising selections on which we are going to carry out, in the next few months, even more in-depth tests from an agronomic point of view, with the help of organic farms participating in the project, all of which are located in the area of Mesola (Ferrara), as well as the assistance of the FOR.B social cooperative at Forlì, specialized in the professional retraining of people from disadvantaged backgrounds."
"The aim of the project is to guarantee for processing companies a tomato that simultaneously provides high quality fruit, guarantees excellent production yields and is resistant to the two major fungal enemies of this crop: Peronospora and Alternaria. In this way, we will provide the sector with a quality tomato that is healthy and sustainable for the environment, to the advantage of consumers and growers, both those who are committed to organic production and those who implement the regulations of integrated agriculture."
The two-year project brings together various partners. Tera Seeds (project leader) is a seed company in Gambettola (Forlì-Cesena) specialized in research, genetic improvement and seed reproduction, which in recent years has introduced innovative and acknowledged varieties such as Syraz, Cartizze and Rulander. Ri.Nova is a research institute in the field of vegetable cultivation, based in Cesena. The Conserve Italia company is the European leader in the sector of processed fruits and vegetables and owner (among others) of the Cirio and Valfrutta brands. CREA OF is the main Italian research organization dedicated to the agricultural and food industries. The project has also attracted the participation of Irecoop Emilia-Romagna (a Confcooperative training organization), the social cooperative FOR.B Onlus of Forlì, and various agricultural companies of the region's territory.