“Santa Paolina” experimental farm in Follonica has as its primary task the conservation of plant biodiversity and support for research carried out by the IBE. The farm, which has been operating since 1966, houses important varietal collections of pear, peach, olive, persimmon, apple and quince. Since its establishment, research, support and training activities have been carried out for the benefit of companies in the agro-food chain, cooperating with professional associations, institutions and public administrations. Today the farm carries out studies, research and plans functional to the development of agriculture and oriented towards environmental protection; provides and carries out dissemination works for agriculture, for technological innovation, for the improvement and certification of agri-food quality; collaborates with public and private bodies for initiatives in the areas of competence; develops the testing of innovations, demonstrations in the field, support for teaching and research activities. The farm carries out research activities commissioned by private companies producing pesticides and fertilizers, agricultural machinery and agri-food industries. During 2010, the farm was requested to be recognized as a Test Center authorized to conduct official field tests for efficacy data of plant protection products.
The farm, authorized for nursery activities, is home to the Premultiplication Center of certified olive plant material recognized by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, produces basic category material and supplies certified material to olive nurserymen as well as CAC category material of fruit trees . A center for the rehabilitation of fruit and olive plant material has been set up at the company, capable of carrying out the rehabilitation of plants affected by virosis.