`14 Greek Olive Varieties to Be State Certified - Olive Oil Times

14 Greek Olive Varieties to Be State Certified

By Petros Gogos - Agronews
May. 29, 2019 11:59 UTC

The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process for 14 vari­eties of olive is under­way at the state-run Olive Tree Institute of ELGO Demetra based in Chania, a devel­op­ment that Greek Nurseries are watch­ing with great inter­est but also cau­tion as it could sat­isfy their long-stand­ing demand for cer­ti­fied prop­a­gat­ing mate­r­ial.

As explained by Sotiris Salis, chair­man of the Hellenic Association of Greek Nurseries the stakes are high because this is per­haps our only oppor­tu­nity to com­pete on an equal foot­ing with other rival coun­tries trad­ing in cer­ti­fied prop­a­gat­ing mate­r­ial for olive trees.”

The ques­tions that need to be addressed are many, includ­ing when the cer­ti­fied foun­da­tion stock will be ready in Chania, but also how and in what quan­ti­ties it can be made avail­able to the nurs­eries so that they can pro­ceed with the pro­duc­tion of cer­ti­fied mate­r­ial. On top of this, ELGO still needs to pick a part­ner from the pri­vate indus­try who would be able to jointly pro­duce tree saplings in case demand for cer­ti­fied saplings turns out to out­run sup­ply.

ELGO – Demetra cur­rently reas­sures the nurs­eries that mate­r­ial will be ready for release by the end of the year. But nurs­ery own­ers remain cau­tious and express con­cern regard­ing poten­tial delays in pro­duc­ing the cer­ti­fied olive tree saplings. For as long as they do not have cer­ti­fied mate­r­ial, and on the basis of the leg­is­la­tion cur­rently in force at the com­mu­nity level, the move­ment of olive tree saplings out­side the coun­try’s bor­ders is pro­hib­ited.

At a later stage, the selected vari­eties will be able to be reg­is­tered in the National Catalog — a process for which cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is a nec­es­sary step. As long as this is delayed, the risk of theft” of Greek olive vari­eties remains a prob­lem, as in the case with Koroneiki I‑38.

In the absence of mother plants there can be no pro­duc­tion and trade. The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of olive tree saplings which is begin­ning now comes with a 30-year delay. Still, it is of prime impor­tance that the mate­r­ial that exists now is cer­ti­fied and put into pro­duc­tion,” Salis said. Once all con­trols have been com­pleted, the mate­r­ial pro­duced in the plan­ta­tions of ELGO Demetra in Chania will be at the dis­posal of Greek nurs­eries so that they can pro­duce high-qual­ity olive repro­duc­tive mate­r­ial.

Every nurs­ery will have to acquire the cer­ti­fied mate­r­ial and cre­ate its own mother plants. Among the con­di­tions that nurs­ery busi­ness will have to ful­fill to trade in cer­ti­fied mate­r­ial include being reg­is­tered in the Register of Propagating Material as well as meet the cur­rent phy­tosan­i­tary require­ments. Moreover, they should keep the plants in insect screens if placed on the ground ensure that the sur­face on which they stand is dis­in­fected. Plants should be appro­pri­ately labeled to demon­strate their source of sup­ply, while tree saplings should only be repro­duced for one gen­er­a­tion and only by graft­ing.

EFA believes that the cur­rent project raises crit­i­cal issues about the need for greater pro­fes­sion­al­ism and seri­ous­ness of Greek pro­duc­tion and the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the nurs­ery sec­tor regard­ing olive tree mate­r­ial on an inter­na­tional level”, as Salis said. According to him, the effort cur­rently under­way can the ben­e­fit of all nurs­eries since the mate­r­ial pro­duced, cer­ti­fied will be high-qual­ity mate­r­ial offer­ing much-needed guar­an­tees to Greek grow­ers. Finally, EFA is closely watch­ing the effort at once hav­ing both con­fi­dence in the ser­vices of our coun­try but also real­iz­ing that it is too soon to tell how it will roll out,” he said. Among the vari­eties selected for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion are the most com­mer­cial Greek vari­eties of Koroneiki, Megaritiki, Manaki, Patrinis, Chalkidiki, Amfissis, Kalamon, Adramitini, Lianolia as well as two inter­na­tional ones Picual and Arbequina.

Olive Oil Times and the Greek pub­li­ca­tion Agronews are work­ing together to bring you agri­cul­tural news from Greece.


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