On Thursday 13 July, an interesting webinar entitled “NEWS IN HORTICOLTURE – Focus on Popillia japonica and tools to support Export” was held, organised by ANVE – National Nurserystock Exporters Association- in collaboration with ITA –Italian Trade Agency– and sponsored by AIPP – Italian Plant Protection Association – and Piedmont Region.
The meeting was moderated by ANVE’s President Luigi Pagliani who, after providing an overview of the spread of Popillia japonica in the world, passed the floor to Brunella Saccone – Director of the Agri-Food and Wine Office of ITA. Mrs. Saccone described Italian floriculture as ”a nice surprise”, both in terms of sector breadth and numbers, with a growing export that confirms Italy’s 3rd place among world suppliers. Worthy of note are the many internationalisation activities that ITA is developing for the sector, including, with ANVE, the phytoweb.it portal.
The technical session began with an initial speech by Gianfranco Romanazzi, President of AIPP and Professor of Plant Pathology at the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences of the Polytechnic University of Marche, with a focus on the phytopathological situation in Italy together with an overview of the use of plant protection products and the complexity of pest management in the field.
Prof. Alberto Alma, Professor of General and Applied Entomology at the Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences of Turin University, an expert on allochthonous insects, then described the morphology, biological cycle and ethology of Popillia japonica, an insect that is highly dangerous for floricultural crops and – for this reason – categorised as a priority quarantine pest.
Thanks are also due to Mariangela Ciampitti of ‘’Lombardy Region’s Plant Protection Organisation’’, who illustrated the technical procedures to be adopted for the surveillance and containment of Popillia japonica in areas demarcated by the presence of the insect.
Still on the subject of Popillia japonica, Paola Gotta of ‘’Piedmont Region’s Plant Protection Organisation’’ spoke. She also explained the regulations in force on measures to prevent the establishment and spread of the insect and for its containment in nurseries located in areas at risk.
The speech by Edoardo Sciutti, agronomist and ANVE’s technical advisor, focused on the new phytoweb.it, an ANVE project co-financed by ITA -Italian Trade Agency-. The portal, unique and innovative in its kind, contains a search engine to select specific rules for exporting and handling plants, thus representing a useful tool both for companies that already work with foreign countries and for those that want to enter the international context. Among the functionalities of the new tool there is also the possibility to carry out the Pest Risk Analysis and to generate the Plant Passport and Plant Passport for Protected Zones in PDF format.
In conclusion, ANVE’s President Luigi Pagliani emphasised the importance of these moments of collaboration and confrontation between association’s worlds, phytosanitary services and government departments in order to create benefit to the entire sector. The webinar of 13 July was a virtuous example.
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