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Survey on the innovation in the Sicilian grapevine nurseries

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This paper deals with quality innovation in the grapevine nursery sector. The vegetative propagation of grapevines, scarcely considered by economic research, is the first step in the wine production chain as it influences both the type and the quality of wines as well as the quality and quantity of the performance of farm investments.

This paper gives the results of a study carried out through a structural analysis of both national and regional grapevine nurseries and then through a direct survey of the largest Sicilian nurseries. The survey covers the main structural and productive issues as well as the commercial aspects of eight Sicilian grapevine nurseries and their innovative investments. The middle–low selling price level of Sicilian rooted vines is the result of limited regional marketing which suffers competition from the propagation materials produced by Northern Italy and abroad. So, the companies adopted technological innovations in the production process (paraffin, mulching, cold room storage and warm-house) in order to reduce costs. Innovations of the product to diversify farm production, although less frequent, were also adopted. Consequently, the opportunities for growth in this sector are subject to the companies' ability to upgrade products and differentiate supplies.
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Keywords: Q13 – agricultural markets and marketing; Q16 – R&D; Q18 – agricultural policy; Sicily; agribusiness; agricultural extension services; agricultural technology; biofuels; cooperatives; food policy; grapevine nursery; innovation; market; quality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: DEMETRA Department,University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 1390128,Palermo, Italy

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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