Researchers and producers from some of the world’s leading table grape producing countries gathered in Murcia last week to learn more about the new varieties being developed in the region.
More than 70 experts from Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Peru visited experimental fields belonging to table grape research organisation ITUM, which runs a joint breeding programme with Murcia’s Institute of Agrarian Research and Development (IMIDA) that has so far created 14 new registered seedless varieties – seven white, five red and two black – adapted to suit local growing conditions.
To date some 350ha have been planted with these new varieties in Murcia, representing 5.8 per cent of the region’s total grape acreage. These are exported to countries in the European Union and South America as well as to South Africa.
“Murcia leads the way in the production of seedless varieties in Spain and 80 per cent of output is sold within the EU,” said Adela Martinez-Cachá, the regional government representative for water, agriculture and the environment.