13 October 2022
The 1st business trip to American Farm in Greece (AFARM) was from Oct 09 to 12, 2022, during which the Project Coordinator, Antonio Scialletti was able to meet all the people in charge of AFARM as well as the correspondent Greek entity Perrotis College. During the visit there were many people actively involved in teaching various subjects of agriculture to students: there were more than 800 students on the entire campus. All professors have a PhD in agriculture, having experience on several LIFE Projects and Horizon Projects for the European Community. During the meetings in person, it was able to share and discuss all the procedures for the field-tests (fertilization, sampling, etc.) developed by UNIRC. During his visit, he was able to get the analysis of the soil’s samples and the overall map with all the locations of the samples of the dedicated piece of land of 12 ha., here following:
Below, a brief Report by Antonio Scalletti
Besides, I received also the analyses of the samples giving evidence of a moderately alkaline soil (pH more than 7) with clay component and clay-loam texture:
1) Date of soil sampling: 22/7/2022 (from UAV-drone image)
2) Soil Maps created by 75 soil samples (~23 ha) & soil analysis (August 2022 – Perrotis College Lab)
3) Soil analysis is only from AFS experimental field (only 12 ha) & soil analysis (September 2022 – Soil and Water Resources Institute / Hellenic Agricultural Organization -Demeter).
I also met all the operating people cultivating the land, and I made clear the procedures with them. During the meeting with the Administrative Dept. of AFARM, I was able to connect by video to the supporting administrative Company Warrant where Ms. Stefania answered many administrative operating questions. The goal for the Administration in AFARM is to develop a Financial Report as of Sept. 30, 2022 to be attached to the Mid-term Report under development. I also confirmed that the durum wheat to be used is CIMETO, same than Puglia, and the harvested durum wheat is owned by AFARM, therefore it could be sold. For this reason, I went to visit the Greek pasta-producer Company: MELISSA. The pasta Company MELISSA is producing 90.000 tons of pasta per year, and it has 40% of market share for pasta in Greece exporting to over 30 Countries worldwide. The durum-wheat purchase manager has the goal to improve the proteins & vitamins of the durum-wheat he buys for the top-line: “Golden Choice”. Therefore, he wishes that the durum-wheat produced in the fieldtest in AFARM with our org-min fertilizer will have a higher quality, specifically a better composition of proteins. Organic product and tracing the organic value-chain seams not so important, yet, in Greece because of the perception that “organic food” is more expensive.
Overall the business trip to Greece was very interesting and it was possible to reinforce the collaboration as well as the alignment in all the activities related to the Life Project. All the people in AFARM are very experienced and supportive to the Life Project. Next business trip to AFARM will be end of May 2023 or beginning of June 2023 before the harvesting of the durum wheat grown in the test-fields.