The choice of plant variety is a decisive factor for farmers in terms of achieving a better quality product. Supplying olive plants that comply with optimal varietal and phytosanitary standards is the best way of guaranteeing high quality, high yielding and healthy (pest free/resistant) olive plants to farmers. The trend of increasing worldwide olive oil consumption and the expansion of olive cultivation in the Mediterranean basin, sustained by ambitious national plans for olive development, justifies the investment in the development of high yielding propagation material as nurseries will have to cope with increased demand. This project is the second phase of the now completed CFC financed Project for “the Conservation, Characterization, Collection and Utilization of Genetic Resources in Olive”(CFC/IOOC/03). Following the successful establishment of a central olive germplasm collection centre in Marrakech, Morocco, under Phase I, the second phase will develop an up to date pilot nursery centre with a minimum production capacity of 25 000 high yielding plants/year per country. The pilot nursery will serve as a centre of excellence for the demonstration of innovative propagation techniques and modern technologies in olive production. The best varieties adapted to specific environments, climates and soil proprieties will be propagated, distributed and disseminated to farmers with the goal of increasing their income from olive growing.

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