Knowledge Transfer Programme

La Palma Island Council (Cabildo Insular de La Palma) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), through the Institute for Natural Products and Agrobiology (IPNA), have maintained close collaboration in scientific research and technological development over the years.

Among other activities, collaboration areas between the Cabildo and the CSIC include specific studies, research and development projects, advice and training of technical personnel in areas of common interest, as well as activities for the social promotion of research and technological development.

Cabildo de La Palma
Technology Area
Food sector

The Knowledge Transfer Plan funded by the Cabildo began in 2017. It was specifically designed to meet the demands of the island's primary sector. The main objective of this plan is to bring scientific capacities and technological achievements developed at the IPNA closer to the agricultural sector of La Palma, in order to transform research into social and economic well-being.

The Cabildo has directed its investment into two specific projects, through hiring highly qualified personnel. In addition, the José Bravo Agrobiology Laboratory shared by both entities on La Palma has been strengthened. For example, it checks for pests and pathogens like nematodes, undertakes physical and chemical analyses of soil and water for agricultural use, as well as of grape-juice, must and wine. The Laboratory receives samples from the agricultural improvement and education agencies, farming cooperatives, commercial suppliers and private individuals.



The aim of this project is to contribute to the development of crops of interest on La Palma, optimizing different local crops with improved sustainable agricultural models, highly demanded by professionals working in the island’s primary sector. Key crops on the island, such as bananas and avocados, are being grown according to sustainable models with preliminary results offering acceptable organic-ecological production of good quality. To these crops can be added others such as ornamental plants such as proteas, which, for several years now, have been gaining importance on the island, favoured by the soil and climate conditions and their winter flowering season.

The three key activities developed in this project are:

  • Optimization of ornamental protea flower cultivation, applying more sustainable production models.
  • Optimization of avocado cultivation with ecological systems.
  • Introduction of coffee cultivation on the island.

María Mercedes Hernández González PhD


The development of agriculture has led to diverse varieties of domesticated species as a result of traditional selective improvements since antiquity. More recently, targeted genetic engineering has also aimed to obtain better, healthier products, better adapted to the environments where they developed. That is why it is important to study the improved commercial varieties in the different environments to choose the most suitable for each area, and also to study the traditional agricultural varieties that have been established in a territory for a long time. The latter, traditional varieties, are becoming increasingly important, since they constitute a genetic reservoir to solve problems arising with commercial varieties and can also be further improved to make them more productive.

Both the optimization of the currently established commercial crops and the study, conservation and possible re-implementation of traditional crops would provide a more favourable environment for the development of wider agricultural diversity on the island.

The main aim of the project is to contribute to the optimization of the fruit crops established on the island, and furthermore conserve and recover the traditional crops. The specific objectives are:

  • To monitor the phenology of mango and avocado in different locations on La Palma, observing the success of pollination and fertilization in different cultivars.
  • Assessment of limitations in the reproductive biology of these fruit on the island.
  • An initial survey of local gene stock on the island in strains of such subtropical crops present in old orchards and gardens in which plant material was introduced, particularly from the American continent.
  • Molecular analyses to examine the genetic diversity of these crops and, where appropriate, conserve relevant material in an ex situ collection.

Verónica Pérez Méndez PhD