Italian associations and producers started getting interested in hazelnut cultivation again a few years ago. Nowadays, hazelnut cultivation is spreading also outside of the classic cultivation areas due to the high demand, the fact that the high price of dried fruit largely compensates the investment and the considerable financial resources made available to the sector through Rural Development Plans.
The Tonda Francescana® cultivar was patented by the University of Perugia after 30 years of research. The experimentation enabled the attainment of results on field application ready to be transferred to those companies growing hazelnuts. In just a few years, the new cultivar managed to attract the interest of many growers as well as a few multinationals using hazelnuts to make famous confectionery products.
Tonda Francescana®, characterized by a high fructification already in the first years after being planted
The characteristics that make the Tonda Francescana® cultivar very interesting are:
• the fact that the production of fruits starts already during the third year, with small quantities being produced also during the second year, i.e. two years earlier than other varieties;
• productivity is well above that of better known cultivars thanks to the abundance of female flowers;
• blossoming and budding are medium-late, which is an advantage compared to the earlier cultivars which fear temperature drops;
• ripening occurs in late August, earlier with respect to other varieties, so hazelnuts can be placed in warehouses before the late summer rain affects harvesting and field accessibility;
• the shape and size of the fruits correspond perfectly to the type requested by the confectionery industry. What is more, shelling yields are good (46-48%) and the fruit has a good peelability, a long shelf life and an excellent flavor.
Right: perfect root development of a micro-propagated plant
The license to multiply and commercialize Tonda Francescana® was acquired by Fondazione per l'Istruzione Agraria in Perugia, which multiplies it in its Deruta and Marsciano nurseries in the Perugia province.
Most of the nursery production is exported to countries like Chile, Serbia, Bulgaria, etc., while 150,000 plants a year obtained both through micropropagation and grafts on Corylus colurna rootstocks are set aside for the Italian market.
Young grove of Tonda Francescana® hazelnuts grafted on Corylus colurna
To guarantee the best quality to growers, Fondazione per l'Istruzione Agraria in Perugia activated a certification process to sell hazelnuts holding the Certificazione Nazionale QVI (Qualità Vivaistica Italia -Italian Nursery Quality), which is rare in Italy. This also guarantees that plants are free from viruses.
Those purchasing the new patented variety can count on facilities and products that represent the best of the knowledge currently available:
• state-of-the-art and innovative university research;
• nursery facilities managed by technicians who can also provide support during the grove design stage;
• plantlets guaranteed by the highest quality certification currently existing in Italy.
Fondazione per l'Istruzione Agraria in Perugia
Via Risorgimento, 3 - Frazione Casalina
06051 Deruta (PG)
Tel.: 075 973109
Cell.: 335 8016825