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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 491: International Symposium Greenhouse Management for Better Yield & Quality in Mild Winter Climates

PROTECTED CULTIVATION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

Author:   W.O. Baudoin
Abstract:
This introductory paper gives an overview of the evolution of greenhouse crop production in the Mediterranean region during the last 15 years. The current distribution of protected cultivation in 19 countries of the Mediterranean is analysed and the different components of the “quality” and “safety” concepts are discussed. A proposal for a strategy to achieve better quality vegetable production is outlined, including three major components: (i) definition of quality criteria and standards, based on the existing guidelines prepared by international institutions and professional associations for bio- and eco- products; (ii) definition and adoption of strict crop production protocols in line with the Integrated Production and Protection (IPP) approach for eco-products or the organic agriculture approach for bio-products, (iii) implementation of a marketing policy based on the introduction of labelled and quality certified products. Highlights are given concerning the current trends of agronomic practices and greenhouse technologies that have a positive effect on improving the quality of the produce. It reaches the conclusion that greenhouse cultivation has a very interesting potential for the improvement of the quality and the yields of vegetable production in the Mediterranean region. However, appropriate technology should be applied, in conjunction with a well-co-ordinated climate control, to reap the full benefits of the comparative advantage of mild winters.
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