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Manuel Tornel (ITUM):

"We can offer our Murcian table grape varieties throughout the year"

In 2002, the Murcian Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research and Development (IMIDA) and the Murcian Society of Table Grape Research and Technology (ITUM) initiated an improvement program to develop new high-quality table grape varieties for consumers that were economically profitable for producers and met market demands.

"This collaboration has yielded 20 seedless varieties that have been registered. These varieties stand out for their crunchy texture and high productivity. In addition, some of them are tolerant to fungal diseases and have new flavors," stated Manuel Tornel Martínez, from ITUM.

"The producers from Murcia that make up ITUM have planted more than 1,400 hectares, which account for more than 20% of the regional area and represent a significant varietal renewal. In addition, since the breeding center is in our region, the varieties are completely adapted to our agro-climatological conditions."

The ITUM has played an important role in promoting the new apirena table grape varieties of the Region of Murcia. "Our varieties have been successfully promoted at important international fairs that include tasting for visitors, since 2016 at Fruit Attraction Madrid. In addition, we've participated with AgritechMurcia in Fruit Logistica Berlin as part of the Region of Murcia's technological hub since 2018, as well as in Fruit Logistica Asia since the same year. In the US market, we were present at PMA in 2022 and 2023."

"During these events, we have carried out oral presentations at various congresses and official forums, such as Grape Attraction, which is organized by APOEXPA. Recently, at Tech Stage Berlin 2024, we made a presentation called 'Region of Murcia at the forefront of agricultural biotechnology companies,' positioning our region at the forefront of biotechnology companies."

"One of the main challenges when developing new varieties is the lack of recognition by supermarkets, which show some reluctance to acquire them. We have implemented various strategies to address this challenge. Numerous supermarkets and production companies from the Region of Murcia visit our research center to get acquainted with our varieties."

"The project initially focused on strengthening local producers, but -since producers from other parts of the world have shown interest in our varieties-we've sent plant material for cultivation to Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, Australia, Mexico, and, more recently, to India and the United States. Most of these countries are in the southern hemisphere, which allows us to offer our Murcian table grape varieties throughout the year," stated Manuel Tornel.


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