Many companies in South Italy and in particular in the Basilicata region are testing the commercial varieties of CIV with great interest, in particular the variety Flaviapbr, characterized by early ripening, mid-vigour, fruits that are external to the foliage and therefore easy to harvest, with high resistance to powdery mildew and leaf and root diseases in general, excellent flavour, very sweet, low acidity and high a percentage of extra quality fruit. It is also suitable for terrain with soil fatigue and it has a good adaptability to stubble crop practice, organic or low environmental impact cultivation.
The CIV interviewed three producers - two of them are also retailers. The first producer, Salvatore Palermo, is in his fourth season of Flavia variety growing. He is currently growing 60,000 plants that were planted - quite belatedly - on October 20, 2020 with subsequent tunnel covering on December 20, 2020.
Mr Palermo [tells] "From an agronomic point of view Flavia is an easy variety: it is a vigorous plant that quickly reaches a balanced development in terms of vegetative and productive growth, allowing early and constant fruiting. The variety is highly adaptable to different pedo-climatic conditions, which are not always optimal; it has turned out to be a very easy to manage variety with high productivity".
In terms of production quality, "the scarlet-red fruit is particularly bright with aesthetic qualities that last for several days postharvest. Moreover, the ability of this variety to achieve a uniform fruit colouration even at the beginning of the harvest season, when low temperatures normally influence epidermis pigmentation, should not be forgotten".
Finally, Mr Palermo concludes by saying: "it should be stressed that Flaviapbr has always demonstrated another very interesting aspect: even at high temperatures, those typical at the beginning of May, where in most cases the fruit quality of most varieties starts to worsen, Flavia produces fruits which keep high organoleptic characteristics and does not deteriorate quickly!"
The farmer then highlights the shape of the fruit and the firmness of the flesh: "The fruit is of medium to large size throughout the season and the flesh is extremely firm - making it easier to handle the fruit during picking".
Further testimony comes from the producer Francesco Cirilliano, who has been producing Flavia for two consecutive years with excellent results in terms of productivity and fruit quality. Mr Cirilliano confirms the rusticity of the plant, also suitable for terrain with soil fatigue; the structure of the plant, characterised by a strong but well-managed foliage distribution that does not cause shading and ensures the growth of the fruit outside the foliage, thus making harvesting easier; the right balance between the quantity of ripening fruit, new blossoms and the growth of attached flowers, which induces a constant and uninterrupted production.
"Last year, on May 10, the plant reached a total productivity of around 750-800 grams with the first very early harvest. This year, due to the cold temperatures during the second half of January/early February, we started harvesting slightly later, but the plant is recovering well and has already reached a good production level".
Finally, this year De Pascalis' farm is testing 10,000 Flavia plants. This confirms an easy agronomic management of the plant and an excellent quality of fruit that - as the owner Aldo De Pascalis declares - "is very bright and is so even in the delicate postharvest phase with a medium-large size, uniform in terms of shape and dimension, with a crunchy flesh". De Pascalis concludes: "With these characteristics, there is every reason to believe that Flaviapbr will be able to achieve an excellent commercial development".