Biocastanea - Leading International Fair on Chestnut
On November 11, 2009, the Chestnut Table of El Bierzo was constituted, it is integrated by associations and representative institutions of the production, transformation and commercialization of the chestnut, the property and entities sensitized with the chestnut and its products as a socioeconomic dinamizing element and basic element of the regional history and culture. In order to achieve these objectives, the Strategic Plan for the structuring of the chestnut tree in El Bierzo has been designed, which provides for 3 lines of action: production, recovery and participation. The line of participation provides for knowledge transfer actions, including the Biocastanea fair.
The main objective of Biocastanea is the sustainability of chestnut orchards as a natural, cultural, economic and landscape element, through the transfer of technical and scientific knowledge to the productive sector. Furthermore, it aims to make chestnut growing one of the main pillars of sustainable development. To generate debate, analysis and exchange of new proposals for the development of the sector. To maintain the relationship between culture-biodiversity and economy present in the chestnut tree.
The main results have been: the organization of 10 editions, more than 2.000 participants to the technical conferences, 100.000 assistants to the sectorial fair, more than 200 technical and scientific communications, the impulse of the Chestnut State Network and the consolidation of a reference event for the transference of the technical and scientific knowledge to the productive sector.
It is fundamental in the event to improve the capacity to incorporate different activities every year, to avoid repeating communications successively and to have activities of practical character that facilitate the transference of the knowledge to the productive sector.
Impacts and weaknesses
A change can be observed in the way the chestnut orchards. Some bad practices are being abandoned, such as the use of herbicides, and there is interest in new chestnut plantations. However, the attendance of producers to the conferences is proportionally low in relation to the total number of producers in the region, as they expect activities of a scientific nature that they think they may not be able to understand.
Biocastanea must evolve and improve its relationship with producers, bring the transfer closer to productive areas and attract chestnut growers so that they understand the necessary scientific basis on which solutions to their problems are based.