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26 and 27 June 2024 Óbidos, Portugal -

Interpera 2024 to focus on technical visits in Portugal

Interpera 2024 will gather the international pear sector from 26 to 27 June in Óbidos, Portugal. In addition to the main conference day, the organisers have prepared pear technical visits. The participants will learn about the Portuguese pear cultivation and conservation. The programme will mix knowledge exchange and company visits.

Participants of Interpera 2024 will be taken to the heart of the Rocha pear region, in the area known as Oeste, where 90% of the production is concentrated. The region's proximity to the sea, high sulphur levels in the soil, high temperature variations of hot sunny days and cool nights produce Rocha pear's intense colour and good balance between sugar level and acidity.

The technical day (26th June) will start with a first packing house, a multi-fruit producers organization, in full process that will show its most modern equipment for conservation, calibration and packing. Visitors will have the opportunity to discuss with the technicians involved in the operations.

The day will also include the visit of a second packing house, dedicated to pears and apples, a usual concept in Oeste region. Participants will see other innovative conservation equipment in dynamic controlled atmosphere, which constitutes one of pera Rocha's added values. Participants will walk through a Rocha pear orchard.

The afternoon visits will focus on innovation with the visit of INIAV, the National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinary Research. INIAV is divided in 11 innovation poles in Portugal, and the one visited, in Alcobaça, is dedicated to Research on Fruit Growing. As far as pear is concerned, the institute carried out research activities, among others, on the optimal production and fruit grade in a changing environment, or on antioxidant capacity.

Within the same facilities, COTHN, (Centro Operativo e Tecnológico Hortofrutícola Nacional), will present investigation projects related to pear in Portugal. COTHN is an organization whose mission is to promote the development of the fruit and vegetable sector, by developing applied research, improving the level of knowledge, and deepening partnerships. COTHN is also involved in irrigation systems and quality control.

During the afternoon, there will also be a visit of Alcobaça monastery, because Interpera is not only about sharing pear cultivation knowledge but also about offering a hit of the cultural heritage of the host country. Indeed, the heritage of the monks of Alcobaça goes far beyond the magnificent UNESCO heritage construction: they played a decisive role in agriculture and water facilities in the Oeste Region.

The second day of Interpera (27th June) will be the conference itself with round tables on the past campaign review, on the forecast and market evolution. A time will be given for a focus on water and another one on soil health. Lastly, the conference will end on two sessions orientated toward the future with one presentation about climate and another one on the prospects offered by new technologies.

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