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Italy: Raspberries are a new profitable option in Basilicata
Raspberry cultivation is becoming increasingly popular in the Metaponto area. It's not easy to manage, but it can be rather satisfactory with the right technique. Prices had started rather low in January, then peaked to €15/kg and stabilised at €10/kg.
On 8th March 2018, FreshPlaza visited a few companies in Scanzano Jonico (Matera). The secret is harvesting the fruit when it's deep red and therefore sweet.
"It's my first year growing raspberries. I planted 8,000 plants at a distance of 30cm with two fertigation drop lines. It's a rather interesting crop, but everything must go smoothly as the initial cost was €25 thousand. I have harvested 600 grams per plant so far and I'm expecting to reach 700 grams. We will then clip plants and restart harvesting in late April-early May," explains producer Antonio Sabato.
On the night of 28th February, the temperature dropped to -5°C but only reached -1°C in greenhouses.
"If managed well, this crop needs no treatment. I carried out the latter against botrytis in December." The produce is then collected by "Apofruit", which has an entire brand dedicated to the premium range.
Vincenzo Sabato also cultivates raspberries and even opted for soil-less crops. Results have been excellent despite the higher initial cost.
"I'm pleased with how things are going, as quality is good and prices are satisfactory too. Of course we'll have to wait for the end of the season to make an assessment but it seems quotations are good. I chose soil-less cultivation because our land is not very suitable for this crop and I couldn't afford low yields."
Publication date: 3/12/2018
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