The research programme has for object to lead to exploitation of some kinds of fruits, common to different regions of the EEC not yet developed, i.e. Portugal, Greece, Galice (Spain), Corse and Aquitaine (France), in order to find solutions of agricultural diversifications for these regions.
Those kinds, which commercial outlets exist for, are old varieties of apples, Rocha pears, fresh figs and chestnuts.
The project is to improve and exploit a number of fruit tree species cultivated in certain regions of Portugal, Greece, Spain and France that are considered to offer opportunities for agricultural diversification. Figs and chestnuts are also included. Cultivated old varieties of apple and pear in the participant countries were selected and multiplied by grafting for the establishment of orchards. One orchard has already been planted in France and 2 more will be planted in Portugal and Corsica respectively. Adaptation to and performance of these of varieties on various sites will be evaluated. A collection of several varieties of figs has been made and clones and identification of the genetic material is in progress. A model is being developed to allow a standard test of the effect of treatments on tree growth, architecture and production. Surveys of ink diseased chestnuts have been carried out in the various production regions. Apple varieties Rocha and the Greek Delicious Pilafa reacted positively to conservation but the pear variety Kontoula displayed physiological problems.
The project must help to :
- look for modern methods to treat orchards in order to allow an efficient diversification of varieties corresponding to the requests of the consumers anxious about organoleptical quality as well as the lack of pesticide waste (apples, pears),
- set up the cultivars the most according to the zones and production periods, in order to supply the market, for a long period, with fruits of same quality coming from different regions of the EEC (figs),
- make a selection of cultivars resistant to the ink disease (chestnut),
- find methods of reliable figs conservation and adapt the modern techniques of conservation to the old varieties of apples and Rocha pears.