Background and objectives

Almonds (1,276,000 ha) and pistachios (464,000 ha) are both important nut tree crops in the Mediterranean area and universities and research centres continue to do much research in these two species. Both plant material and orchard management have evolved considerably in the last 40 years in the Mediterranean area. Research and development on both species during this time have been conducted according to the relevance of their respective surface area and production.

It is almost 40 years since the GREMPA (Mediterranean Research Group for Almond and Pistachio) working group was established with CIHEAM support in the 1970s. The work carried out by this group was fundamentally based on the study and improvement of genetic resources of Mediterranean origin. Later, the group evolved by promoting debate on research in all aspects of the cultivation and industrialisation of the two species, and was integrated into the FAO-CIHEAM Research Network on Nuts during the 1990s. GREMPA has been holding meetings approximately every 4 years, where scientists have exchanged research methods and results and debated the main challenges of almond and pistachio research and development.

The aim of this XVI GREMPA is not to be a Congress, but rather a meeting to discuss the issues challenging almonds and pistachios and to promote the active participation of researchers from all Mediterranean countries. Researchers from other mediterranean climate areas of the world where those species are important are also invited to participate.

Therefore, to enhance debate, the format of the meeting will be based on thematic sessions with an invited keynote lecture followed by only 3 or 4 short theatre presentations selected from the free contributions submitted by the participants on the basis of their interest. After the theatre presentations, substantial time will be allocated to moderated debates in each session. The other contributions will be presented as posters which will also be integrated in the general discussions of each session.

The XVI GREMPA is thus open to free contributions.

Different topics will be covered (see programme):

     1. Genetic Resources and breeding. Cultivars
     2. Genetic Resources and breeding. Rootstocks
     3. Pest and diseases, focusing on new threats and on current and future restrictions
         on chemical treatments
     4. Orchard management
     5. Quality, industrialisation and commercialisation

A field trip will also be organised during the Meeting to show participants different experiences of research and production in the area of Meknes.