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5 hectare pilot project:

France: Buratti to start with greenhouse Kiwi cultivation

Kiwis are usually not the first things you expect to see in a greenhouse. Nonetheless, fruit grower Scea Buratti will become among one of the first companies that will soon plant Kiwi trees inside a recently built new greenhouse in Southern France.

Buratti, an Italian family that grows apples and kiwis in France for more than 65 years, investigated the opportunities for protected cultivation of kiwis after a visit to New Zealand. Here they saw how colleague kiwi-growers were coping with devastating pest and diseases with the help of cover materials like insect- and shade nets. Back in Europe, the Buratti's got acquainted with Italian greenhouse manufacturer Europrogress and started working on a special solution to grow kiwis in a protected environment in the climate of Southern France.

Based on Europrogress' experience with a large number of other greenhouse crops and climates, Buratti determined to install a multispan greenhouse structure with automated frontal, side and top openings to control the climate.

In April 2016, Europrogress started with the construction of the project in Montauban. In total they installed two greenhouses over a total acreage of 5 hectares. One of the Mulitiart 15000 greenhouses has a size of 3 hectares and the second one is a similar structure with a size of 2 hectares. The structures have 15 meter bays, the ridge height is 6.8 meter and the structure measures 4 meter under the gutter. The roof and sideward vents are controlled by a switchboard which is equipped with rain and wind sensors.

Europrogress made special adjustments with extra poles within the bays in order to provide special support for the kiwi trees. Jean Pierre Lejeune of Europrogress explained that he is looking forward to see the first trees in the five hectare project. "This first five hectare projects will be very important to test and experiment with the protected cultivation of kiwis in Southern Europe. The better and controllable climate in greenhouse will hopefully result in better production and protect the trees from diseases and pests."

The five hectare project of Scea Buratti in Montauban will serve as a pilot project. If all goes well, the grower hopes to expand its kiwi production with more greenhouse acreage.

For more information:
Europrogress Srl
Jean-Pierre LeJeune
[email protected]