FEUGA participates in GREENCASTANEA pilot project


To modernize the chestnut tree cultivation through biotechnology and multi-production is the main objective of GREENCASTANEA, an innovation project of which FEUGA is responsible for the dissemination activities. The project, with a budget of almost 190.000€ and European and autonomic funds, will last two years.

In Galicia, as well as in other territories, chestnut trees constitute autochthonous ecosystems, providing richness and biodiversity to traditional landscapes. Moreover, chestnut trees are one of the most worthwhile plots. Nevertheless, traditional production methods are not efficient and are unavailable to satisfy the current demand. Thus, it is crucial to reach profitable and sustainable systems, allowing better quality and higher plant productions, ensuring safety.

GREENCASTANEA seeks to modernize chestnut trees cultivation through the installation of an avant-garde cultivation camera for the growing and acclimation of the chestnut trees’ hybrid clones, obtained by in vitro processes. These clones will be grafted with traditional IXP (Protected Geographic Indication, for its acronym in Galician) Galician chestnut varieties. The selection of the aforementioned varieties will be done by professional producers through an intravarietal selection based on field demonstrated superior characteristics (such as productivity, size, disease resistance, etc.).

To increase chestnut tree cultivation profitability through multifunctionality, before inserting them in the pot, chestnut trees will be mycorrhized with an inoculum of Boletus edulis, which will be produced by a novel cultivation system in a bioreactor. Furthermore, a thermo-hydro-therapy system to plants disinfestation to ensure the absence of chestnut gall wasp, currently a severe plague, and other phytosanitary pathogens, will be implemented. Finally, in an experimental and demonstrative plot, the performance and characteristics of the obtained chestnut trees will be evaluated.

Thus, GREENCASTANEA is committed to micofruticulture and the diversification of the agroforestry sector. This approach will allow an efficient, flexible and high-quality chestnuts and mushrooms production, two high-valued products. In conclusion, to take care of the autochthonous and keep alive the rural environment.

The project, that will last until july 2023, is led by Hifas da Terra and comprised, apart from FEUGA, by the University of Vigo (through the Agrobiotech for Health Research Group), the Indicación Xeográfica Protexida (IXP) Castaña de Galicia and Soutos Sativa, S.L.

GREENCASTANEA is funded by grants to support pilot projects, development of new products, processes and technologies in the agri-forestry scope, co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for the Rural Development (EAFRD), in the framework of the 2014-2020 Galician Rural Development Program (RDP). Total budget: €187,774.91; total grant: €150,000.00.