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Olive trees in the history, the landscape and the economy of Brda area and on the hills of Eastern Friuli: conservation and development. (UE-LI-JE)
Start date: Jan 31, 2006, End date: Dec 30, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In Brda area and on the hills of Eastern Friuli, olive-growing has always played a significant role, although less important than vine-growing, which is the main source of income. This project aims at developing olive crops in these areas, by studying and enhancing the local varieties and by improving agricultural techniques; all of which, in order to ensure a differentiated agricultural production, a high landscape and environmental value, and a supplementary income for the farms. Moreover, this project intends to preserve both the natural and the cultural heritage of this crop, whilst fostering the use and production of olive oil - a healthy product. Against this background, the native varieties and the varieties which were introduced in this territory in the past have been thoroughly studied, even by means of molecular analysis. The vegetative characteristics, the climatic adjustment, the resistance to pest attacks and the productive potential of the afore-mentioned varieties have been carefully described. Physical, chemical and organoleptic analyses have been carried out on the oil produced, in order to properly define its qualitative features. Rational growing techniques have been promoted, whilst safeguarding the landscape and the environment, in order to increase the production of oil and to improve the quality of production, since the quality of olive oil produced at the Northern climatological limit is quite good; therefore the project intends to enhance the whole territory. In Slovenia, an olive-processing plant has been set up, and a cross-border territorial brand has been created for the promotion and marketing of the most interesting varieties. Apart from the oil mill, two exhibits have been organized: one in Dobrovo (Slovenia) and one in Cividale del Friuli, where the locals, tourists and visitors may receive and taste the oil produced. In addition to the afore-mentioned processing plant, olive-growing has been generally developed as a complementary activity of vine-growing; native varieties have been enhanced whilst providing the necessary information and methods for a proper crossborder, agronomic and environment-friendly management of olive trees.

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