In the agricultural demonstration center of Purias, in the Spanish region of Murcia, research is being carried out to study the viability of the cultivation of a new variety of Verna lemon. The goal is to "provide growers in the Guadalentín Valley with information about the behavior of these clones before new plantings are done," according to the Regional Council of Water, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
This year's lemon harvest in the region of Murcia is estimated at more than 670,000 tons. 136,000 tons correspond to the Verna variety, and the rest to Fino lemons. About 70% of the harvest of the latter variety corresponds to the Fino 49, and the remaining 30% to the Fino 75.
The new Verna lemon clones that are being tested at the center in Purias are the result of a 'Program for the genetic improvement of citrus', developed by the Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Development of Murcia (Imida). The purpose of these clones is to fill the market gap following the harvest of the traditional Verna lemons, before the harvest of the Fino lemon begins, in order to achieve a year-round cultivation.
The initiative is being implemented in the framework of the Rural Development Program 2014-20 with the support of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and the Regional Council of Water, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Murcia.