Governed by the criteria that give name to the chair itself, “Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Food”, this first edition goes to a student from the University of Almeria and his research on tomato cultivation, and a runner-up is given to another student, from the Public University of Navarra, which deals with the cultivation of broccoli in the Ebro Valley.
In mid-June 2021 the “first steps” of the Primaflor Chair of Sustainable Agriculture and Healthy Food of the University of Almeria were officially made public, and then, in mid-February of this year 2022, the first edition of its Best Final Project Award was launched, open to students from universities throughout Spain. At the beginning of July, just one year after the establishment of the Chair, the award ceremony was held in the Sala de Grados del CITE V, with the support of the rest of the chairs of the UAL and chaired by Diego Valera, Vice Chancellor for Research.
It has gone to the research entitled Use of biofertilizers as a tool to reduce the consumption of traditional synthetic fertilizers and improve the productivity and quality of an intensive tomato crop, presented by José Carlos Nieto, a student at the University of Almería. In addition, given the high level of the works presented, more than sixty, a second prize was awarded to the Public University of Navarra, specifically to its student Javier Cabello, whose research focused on The sustainability indexes for broccoli cultivation in the Ebro Valley. Both presented their respective studies and received checks for 2,000 and 1,000 euros respectively from Cecilio Peregrín, Primaflor’s corporate director and board member, in the presence of the Chair’s director, Miguel Urrestarazu, and its co-director, Manuel Jódar.
Diego Valera has taken the opportunity to recall that “the University of Almeria is closely related to the productive fabric and the social fabric of the province, as it can not be otherwise, and the link with all companies is essential, especially in the main lines of development of the UAL, such as agri-food, renewable energy and the environment”. In that line, “for the trajectory that has this institution, from the “minute one” is working side by side with the agricultural sector of the province, and have special relationship with companies through the chairs is key, as they modulate in part the research of the University of Almeria and also teaching”. And the fact is that “on the one hand we work intensively in research to solve problems of citizens in general, and on the other hand in training”.
The Vice Chancellor has stressed that “one of the fundamental successes that has had the agricultural sector, the real engine of socio-economic and demographic development of the province is, on the one hand, the work done by farmers and companies, and on the other hand also the great advisory work done by graduates of the UAL, combined with the progress of the groups and research centers of the university itself.” He thanked Primaflor for its support, reminded that this award aims to “recognize the effort and academic excellence of young researchers in the field of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating, as well as their potential impact on the agri-food sector”, and congratulated the two winners.
José Carlos Nieto, the winner, acknowledged that the award “is an extraordinary recognition of all the work done during the course and, in addition to this, it is a great opportunity to publicize this research and make it reach interested people”. Personally, “a motivation to continue my professional development along this path of research”. Regarding Javier Cabello’s assessment, “on a personal level, it is pleasantly satisfying to have your work recognized in this way, it is what encourages you to embark on new projects with greater confidence, and on a more global level, I find it admirable that the Primaflor Chair promotes awards related to sustainable agriculture, encouraging people like me to research on this topic that seems fundamental for the current and future agricultural model”.