The project, part of the research call for the development of the Tuscan olive and olive oil sector financed by ARSIA, developed over the four-year period 2005-2008. Coordinated by Olivicoltori Toscani Associati Scrl, the MATEO project involved 20 olive growing companies, representing different production conditions in terms of company size, orographic and geographical situation; The analysis of production costs was carried out on them which clearly indicates, for each territorial area, what the profitability of the crop is.
Elements related to mechanization and the development of new forms of pruning were examined with the aim of reducing costs and simultaneously evaluating the effect on production. Finally, from these analyzes some indications emerge that outline the strategies to be followed for the relaunch of Tuscan olive growing.
The project had a strong informative approach from the beginning; during the project, 18 demonstration days and seminars were carried out, over 20 published scientific works, over 30 interventions at conferences, seminars and round tables in which reference was made to the partial results of the project, 12 degree theses.
Finally, it should be noted that the MATEO project has enabled the development of two machines for harvesting olives and carrying out treatments on terraced land or land characterized by steep slopes. This type of small-sized machines, which move on tracks, are completely new in concept and will be able to bring undoubted benefits to egg farmers who operate in the most difficult areas.
Many other Italian agricultural machinery manufacturing companies have taken part in the project’s initiatives and have consequently oriented their latest generation products according to the indications provided by the MATEO project.