IX Southeastern Europe Symposium on Vegetables and Potatoes

25 09 2023

5-9 September, Bucharest, Romania

The IX Southeastern Europe Symposium on Vegetables and Potatoes took place from September 5th to 9th in Bucharest, Romania, co-organized by the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences “Gheorghe Ionescu – Șișești,” the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, and the Romanian Society of Horticulture, under the auspices of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences. This event was hosted in the Hall of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences and the Campus of the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest, strategically located in one of the most picturesque areas of the Romanian capital.

The symposium featured three keynote addresses covering research in vegetables and potatoes, regional and global perspectives on research and development, opportunities and challenges in value-added products, practical aspects of fertilizer and nutrient solutions, current trends in mitigating climate change’s impact on horticultural crops, knowledge dissemination, and horticultural applications. These sessions encompassed ten thematic tracks, addressing diverse subjects such as cultivation practices and quality, greenhouse technologies, plant biodiversity and breeding, plant protection, plant propagation, growing media, climate change and sustainable production, smart agriculture, and postharvest physiology, technology, and processing. Attendees shared insights on the current status, technological advancements, and future directions in the global vegetable and potato industry.

Apart from the keynote speakers, the symposium drew 104 participants from 15 countries who engaged in various scientific sessions. The participation of many attendees in the symposium results from the dissemination activities carried out by UEAA and bilateral cooperation between the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences of Romania and other academies. Notably, there was cooperation with the Academy of Sciences of Albania. One of the symposium’s conveners was Professor Dr. Nazim Gruda, a member of the Academy of Sciences of Albania and a corresponding foreign member of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences of Romania. In addition, he is Vice-Chairman of the Division for Vegetables, Roots and Tubers of the International Society for Horticultural Science and Chairman of the Working Group for Vegetables and Potatoes in South-Eastern Europe.

The symposium served as a valuable platform for researchers, students, growers, and stakeholders to present their work, exchange knowledge, and engage in meaningful discussions regarding recent advances in vegetable and potato management, particularly in South-Eastern Europe.

During the closing ceremony and business meeting, ISHS Young Minds Awards for best oral and poster presentations were awarded. The conveners of the symposium, Asoc. Prof. Marian Bogoescu, Prof. Dr. Nazim Gruda, and Asoc. Prof. Viorica Lagunovschi, received the ISHS Medal.

Additionally, the symposium included a professional field trip and a cultural tour, offering insights into Romanian horticultural practices and cultural diversity. Participants visited several companies and institutions involved in vegetable production near the Black Sea coast and potato cultivation in the Southern Carpathian Mountains. One of the visits was to a vertical farm specializing in basil and herbs and a greenhouse dedicated to vegetable production. Additionally, the participants explored the research institute for viticulture and winemaking. The wine-tasting event was the social program’s highlight, allowing for formal and informal discussions. The itinerary included visiting the Targu Secuiesc Potato Research and Development Station the following day. Finally, our journey culminated with a visit to the historic Bran Castle, famously associated with the legendary Dracula and King Vlad the Impaler.

In conclusion, the IX Southeastern Europe Symposium on Vegetables and Potatoes featured presentations by 70 experts, scholars, and postgraduates, resulting in 109 collected abstracts. The associated manuscripts will be published in Acta Horticulturae. The symposium’s success is expected to drive regional development in the vegetable and potato industry and contribute positively to Romanian horticulture.

Photo 1: Assoc. Prof. Marian Bogoescu, Prof. Dr. Nazim Gruda, and Assoc. Prof. Viorica Lagunovschi received medals from ISHS for convening the symposium.

Photo 2: During the field trip to S.C.D.C.C. Targu Secuiesc