Over the next three years, they will collect data on soil health and fruit quality in the fields of six companies in the Saluzzo and Cuneo areas, part of the Joinfruit di Verzuolo producer organization. This is the first experience of using the symbiotic farming specification for a producer organization. The Joinfruit project is carried out in collaboration with the Research Group on Plant-Microorganism Interactions of the Institute of Life Sciences and Systems Biology of the University of Turin, the consortium company Ecosì and Sata, a leader in the consulting and control sector. for the grocery chain.
Bruno Sacchi, Director of Joinfruit, explains: “Friday is World Earth Day, a special moment that reminds us all to care and improve our planet. The project “A healthier soil and a more virtuous production with symbiotic agriculture in the fruit sector” wants to go in this direction ».
Symbiotic agriculture aims to create an environmentally sustainable system that promotes the healthy and balanced development of plants, starting with the care of the soil, with the fertilization of the soil in a natural and sustainable way, achieved through the use of bacteria and fungi will improve soil fertility, store carbon and resist water stress.
If the project is successful, the companies will receive quality certification for food production. The constant monitoring of the soil through chemical-physical analyzes of the soil and microbial biodiversity, which should lead to a reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers, is fundamental. Under the lens of the scholars, the fruit that the land is producing will also end.
«The goal we have set ourselves – continues Sacchi – is to become the first company to testify to the better environmental sustainability of this fruit tree production system; So far, research has been done on herbaceous, cereal and horticultural crops. We also monitor the quality parameters of the product obtained at the end of each vintage, classifying color, Brix acidity, texture, aroma, flavor and crispness ».
Alessandra Salvioli di Fossalunga from the Faculty of Science and Biology at the University of Turin adds: “Our team has a long tradition in studying the biology of symbiotic connections between plants and microorganisms. Among the planned experimental activities, the latest techniques based on DNA sequencing will be applied to analyze the biodiversity of orchard soils and beneficial insects will be monitored.
Sergio Capaldo, from the Ecosì consortium, concludes: “It is important to go back to studying soil in order to understand the mysteries of life and aim for quality and sustainability. The agriculture of tomorrow can be a great economic, environmental and social resource, but virtuous farmers are needed ».