Fruit production in Naoussa
In comparison to European data, the development of fruit cultivation in the Naoussa area does not start from very long ago. By Greek standards, however, Naoussa again holds the lead in the systematic organization of the cultivation of fructiferous trees, and especially of apples and peaches.
Since 1927 and upon an initiative of the Lanaras brothers and mainly of S. Lanaras, and from 1935 in association with Italian agronomist F. Vigato, systematic tree cultivation is applied in the area with new varieties of apples and peaches as a reply to the destruction of traditional vineyard cultivation in the 1920s. In this way, the foundations upon which almost all post-war development of the agricultural sector of Naoussa was based are put into place, making Naoussa the greatest centre for tree cultivation in Greece.
Today, cultivation methods have changed. Modern methods, new technological means, new varieties, new ways of processing and promoting products, all seek to satisfy contemporary consumer requirements for healthy, tasty, good-looking, namely high quality fruit. The younger fruit producers of Naoussa, continuing the tradition of their fathers, are today justifying their reputation for the production of excellent quality produce, and cultivate their land with great toil and great enthusiasm.
Two large cooperatives at the Naoussa town limits and about twenty in the surrounding area organize the better part of production. The massive installations with the modern equipment they provide for the collection, selection, processing and storage of produce make up, together with the related private facilities and distribution network, the best guarantee for top quality produce, which arrive fresh to market even at far away places.
A large government research centre, the Institute for Deciduous Trees, founded in 1961 -the only one of its kind in the country- is located at the centre of the arboriculture zone of Naoussa and conducts research having as its target the assessment of varieties so as to locate the most appropriate ones, the improvement of cultivation methods and the combat of fructiferous tree diseases. Furthermore, it grants vaccines and new choice-variety saplings to tree growers.
Thanks to technological advances, new ways of planting, pruning and irrigating, the extended network of paved asphalt rural roads, the adoption of new commercial varieties, thanks, finally, to the zeal of the tree growers, who not only feel that their product will provide them with profits, but view it as an extension of their own selves, the apples and peaches of Naoussa, the pears and cherries conquer both local and foreign markets, transporting the coolness of the soil that bore them, the love and care of the people who cultivated them, to the end of the world.