On the 14th December 2018, the “A new agriculture for a new culture” conference was held in Southern Italy. The whole day revolved around the studies and the discussions on professional apple farming in Calabria. Specifically, they referred to the Zomalo Resort coop., a young company that became a symbol of success and lawfulness. This especially because of the courage and the dedication of the owner, Nino Cento.
Although he has received many threats from organised crime, the Southern-Italian entrepreneur decided to use his field for experimentations regarding apple farming.
Cento said to FreshPlaza, “We relied on the professionalism and experience of the Tagliani Vivai international, one of the leading companies in the sector. After several studies, it individuated our area as the most ideal for quality apple farming. Thus, last March, we implanted some apple varieties (Smeralda, Fujion and Gemini) which allowed harvesting on last August”.
“We organised this conference in order to promote to our fellow citizens the possibility and the convenience of farming apple in Calabria. I did not make this bet for my family only but also for all those youngs that are forced to leave these territories. Calabria is a wonderful land. In this part of the region, known as Zomaro (12 km) we have all the prerequisites to farm high-quality produce”.
“The idea of intensive apple farming derives also from the necessity to diversify the crops here. In this area, indeed, there are only three active agricultural sectors (olives, citrus fruits and actinidia). Carrying out apple farming is and will be a challenge that we are sure we can face and ultimately win”.
The Zomaro Resort’s project already aims at increasing the farmed surfaces by adding 6 hectares more with other varieties (Gaia, René).
Several regional and local authority participated in the conference, which lasted until evening. During the day, the Tagliani Vivai International offered some foods, all made with apple: the sweet treats were cooked by the students – supported by their teachers – from the Hotel Management School “G. Renda”, located in Polistena”.
Luca Gambarotto is the Tagliani’s marketing manager, “The most important characteristics of the Zomaro company are the excellent altitude where it is located (and thus a higher temperature variation) which is crucial for providing apples with a uniform colour; also, we are close to two seas which facilitate air circulation preventing humidity, and we can also rely on particularly suitable fields for apple farming”.
According to Francesco Tagliani, there is great potential in farming apples above 400 MAMSL. “Cento experiment was a success. That is why we are sure that we can start with an experimental phase by adding plants at different altitudes in order to evaluate different results”.
At the end of the day, the interventions and the talks by experts and insiders did not focus on production only, but also on the distribution and supply chain management. These initiatives were aimed at promoting this agricultural project that could be an answer to the future”.