"I used to design biomass electricity systems then, three years ago, I decided to change my life and, as I owned 15 hectares of land, two years ago I planted 12 hectares of organic pomegranates. I believe this crop is a winning choice for this area, of course, if managed carefully," reports Roberto Conforti, owner of Il Granato .
"I chose two cultivars - 5000 trees of Wonderful and 1000 of Mollar. The former is much appreciated by the market, while the latter was chosen to diversify production. In addition, while Wonderful fruits are harvested in late October, Mollar ones are ready slightly sooner."
Conforti chose to grow pomegranates for various reasons, starting with the nutritional properties of the fruit, which mean it is particularly appreciated and demanded by consumers. From the point of view of production, the crop is not particularly demanding and there are no particular phytosanitary problems. What is more, it is not very expensive, as the main cost is linked with irrigation and supporting posts starting from the third year."
"This is the first year we are commercializing a modest volume of pomegranates, as we have estimated around 2 tons. We will supply small retailers."
"Market research shows that the Italian produce has to deal with strong competition from Spain and Turkey, although our organic produce has an edge. Processed products (jams, fruit juices, etc.) are much in demand, sometimes even more than the fresh produce, so much so that it is more profitable for small producers to focus on the processing industry."
"In the future, we would like to set up a consortium together with other producers to commercialize, promote and process the produce so as to be more competitive. As for my company, I would like to set up a food and wine tourism project so as to make consumers learn more about pomegranates."
Azienda Agricola Il Granato
84028 Serre (SA) – Italy
Cell: +39 339 7919437