Today, the world of scientific research on Xylella is divided into two main strands: research into new species of olive trees resistant to the bacterium and research into possible cures to stop the effects of Xylella on olive trees.
This discovery represents a starting point but it is necessary to find new resistant varieties because otherwise there is a risk of not having a variety of cultivars in the future. The search for new cultivars is a main aspect to be able to continue preserving our territory.
The experiments that are giving new hope are especially those aimed at finding new resistant olive species. In recent years, two resistant olive varieties have been discovered, Leccino and Favolosa FS17. Although these are plants that can still become infected and for which no long-term observations are yet available, the Phytosanitary Service has authorised their planting.
We believe that this is a fundamental point to be able to imagine a new future for Apulia and the Mediterranean.
Apulia is the territory that boasts the highest density of centuries-old olive trees in the world. It is a unique, immense heritage that is in very serious danger from Xylella Fastidiosa.
After more than ten years of scientific research, we now know that early grafting (i.e. grafting before the plant becomes diseased) is the only possible way to save Apulia's centuries-old olive trees.
Grafting is a reversible agronomic practice that allows the anatomical-physiological fusion of two individuals belonging to different species or varieties, rootstock and graft, with the former constituting the basal part of the plant and the latter the aerial part that allows biological continuity.
Save the Olives wants to activate specific awareness-raising projects on the practice of grafting, because it is only through the sharing of knowledge that real change can be generated.
It has been proven that there are now two varieties of olive trees resistant to Xylella, namely the Leccino and Favolosa FS17 varieties, and therefore grafting on centuries-old olive trees is the only concrete solution to save them, thus protecting the world's unique heritage.
In Salento, in the south of Puglia, Xylella has completely destroyed olive growing in the area with over 183 thousand hectares of land affected and 21 million olive trees dried up.
The future of Salento is all to be written and passes through a broad, tangible, integrated project linked to the reforestation of this entire territory.
This must be the way and the future of Salento must be rewritten together.
Save the Olives wants to be among the protagonists in the planning of this new future and wants to be the mediator, the body that can put at the same table the needs of the future of olive growing in Salento, the need for a much more diversified flora to avoid the problems that have already occurred, and at the same time put at the same table the science that once again must be the main driver together with the institutions and together with the private and main institutions for the protection of olive growers.