Frost in spring, diseases and the brown marmorated stink bug will have a considerable impact on the kiwi harvest in Verona and Veneto, yet sales prices might increase. The regional production estimated for 2017 is 35,761 tons, 33% less than 2016, while in Verona it will be 26,155 tons, 36% less than 2016.

This is what emerged from the "Stime di produzione e commercializzazione" convention organised by the Verona Chamber of Commerce on 26th September 2017. The event was moderated by the general vice-secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, Riccardo Borghero, who stressed just how much the foreign trade of fresh produce is growing. "We exported €325 million worth of produce during the fist six months of the year, 8.7% more than last year. For businesses in Verona, foreign markets are increasingly considered an alternative outlet to the less lively domestic market. I would like to point out that the Chamber of Commerce has allocated funds for internationalisation and there is still time to apply." 

Board member Claudio Valente, Provincia di Verona adviser Francesco Bonfaini and director of Consorzio di tutela del kiwi Fausto Bertaiola also intervened.

"Kiwi is very important for our province although it has to deal with pathogens like canker and root asphyxia as well as insects such as the brown marmorated stink bug. Production decreased drastically due to frost in spring but, at least, average prices will increase on a domestic level, also because surviving kiwis have an excellent quality. The Chamber of Commerce organises this meeting precisely to supply this kind of information to businesses," explained Valente.

Nonetheless, it is true that, if yields drop by 33% and prices increase, the gross saleable production decreases considerably. This are however mere estimates.

"We could say that, despite a few specific difficulties, the Italian kiwi sector is going through a period of reawakening, as proven by the cultivated area trend," added Cso Italy director Elisa Macchi.

In Verona, for example, cultivated hectares increased by 2% reaching 1,839ha. Macchi's intervention was followed by an analysis of the effects of the main diseases affecting kiwi plants by Lorenzo Tosi from Agrea.