The Goal of Organic Way
The purpose of the Operational Plan for the implementation of the program is the evaluation and utilization for commercial organic cultivation of new Greek zucchini hybrids with desirable qualitative and quantitative characteristics and mainly with resistance to the main diseases of zucchini, which are viruses and powdery mildew.
For the implementation of this project, an Operational Group has been set up consisting of the following members:
- UNIVERSITY OF PATRAS – DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (which is also the Coordinating Body)
- PANHELLENIC UNION OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS S.A.
- AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE OF ORGANIC PRODUCERS OF WESTERN GREECE 4. A. S. ORGANIC PRODUCTS BIOAGROS KRIA VRISSIS
- A.S.HYPERTROPHON ZEVGOLATIOU
- GERM SEEDS S.A. (seed production & trading company)
Plan of Action
The Action Plan by the Task Force aims, through the utilization of relatively recent research data (recently created new Greek Zucchini Hybrids by the Department of Crop Science of the University of Patras), to improve the productivity of Greek organic zucchini, while reducing the dependence of Greek farms on imports of imported zucchini hybrid seeds.
The virological infestations of zucchini, which have increased dangerously in all productive areas of our country, are a very large and usually technically untreatable problem in zucchini cultivation. Thus, especially during hot periods when the increase in the population of aphids and whitefly is favored and consequently the spread of viruses, the intense virological attacks that occur annihilate production.
For this reason, in the last decade, the research activities of the scientists participating in the Task Force have focused on the selection and improvement of genotypes and the creation of hybrids with tolerance to viruses.
The main idea of the 3-year Action Plan refers to the pilot cultivation of the created zucchini hybrids in organic farms in various areas, in order to determine the behavior of plants in different soil and climatic conditions in our country.
The pilot cultivation, evaluation and selection of hybrids with disease tolerance in various regions of the country will lead to a gradual transition of the current situation in horticulture. Specifically, large-scale evaluations will be carried out on pilot crops in Western Greece, Central Macedonia and Peloponnese by the collaborating agricultural cooperatives and the University of Patras in order to select the hybrids that will give the highest and highest quality production.
The evaluation and utilization of new hybrids, resistant to diseases, and their widespread use in Greece is an innovation that is applied for the first time in our country since 100% of the seed of hybrid vegetables grown in our country are hybrids imported from various countries.
It should be noted that very often the efficiency of import hybrids in Greek conditions with the particularly dry and hot climate in summer is very low and they often present increased disease incidences. The spread and use of new Greek hybrids in crops in our country will contribute to the reversal of the dominant trend of import hybrids in Greece.
The production of certified organic zucchini seed for the first time in our country is also an innovative element. It should be noted soon that the use of organic seed will be a prerequisite for organic farming certification
The pilot project is implemented:
- In the greenhouses of the Department of Crop Science of the University of Patras, in Messolonghi.
- Organic farms of the members of the Panhellenic Union of Organic Products in Etoloakarnania.
- Organic farms of the members of the Organic Farmers Association of Western Greece, in Western Greece.
- On organic farms, of the members of the BIOAGROS Organic Products Association, in Central Macedonia.
- On organic farms, of the members of the Zevgolatio Superfoods Association in Peloponnese.
The capacity & spatial scope of the farms in which the pilot project is applied, ensures the adequacy to draw safe conclusions and results.
Upon completion of the project, it is expected to document the productivity of organic zucchini crops, with the use of new Greek hybrids and the dissemination of their use in Greek farms, with a significant improvement in the viability, productivity and competitiveness of organic horticulture agricultural enterprises, compared to the current situation.
The project’s contribution to the development of organic zucchini cultivation will contribute, for its part, to achieving the European Green Deal for organic farming of 25% of agricultural land by 2030.