The monitoring of harmful insects has become more and more difficult, while customers are asking for productions with reduced residues of chemicals. The Italian company Carmazzi of Viareggio has decided to bet on the use of beneficial insects on edible flowers, hot peppers and traditional flowers. The monitoring with antagonists has responded very well to the needs of health and crop protection.
Technical assistance is provided by Luca Rocchi, who represents Bioplanet company in Tuscany. "Edible flowers must be grown organically. Thanks to a patient amount of work, we have been able to create a balance between damage-causing insects and antagonists. The main insects we use are phytosides against red spider mite and ladybugs against aphids,” said Rocchi.
The Carmazzi company is also renowned for holding a record collection of more than 1100 varieties of hot peppers. "Before Covid we also held an exhibition with the 1122 registered varieties, each one having a tag with its name, origin and characteristics. We have about 4 hectares of greenhouses and the use of beneficial insects has led to a considerable leap in quality," said Giacomo Carmazzi.
According to Rocchi and Carmazzi, it is first and foremost about changing the mindset. “The use of beneficial insects requires a different approach, made of study and knowledge of plants, of the cycle of beneficial insects but also of those to be counteracted. Its success will manifest in the medium to long term."
Carmazzi emphasizes how heating the greenhouses in recent months has resulted in a significant increase in costs, despite the fact that the company uses certified biomass.
"We are also specialized in online sales both for edible flowers and chilli peppers. We also supply some wholesalers. In recent months, sales have resumed, while 2020 ended up being a really difficult year due to the first lockdown,” added Giacomo Carmazzi.