Gerardo Mercurio was born in Benevento on 18/02/1960. In 1986 he graduated in Agricultural Sciences, from the University of Naples in Portici with the final grade of 107/110. In 1987, he passed the “esame di stato” (a state examination) taken at the Department of Agriculture of Milan, therefore allowing him the possibility to practise the profession of agronomist.
- In 1988, he enrolled at the Register of Doctors of Agronomy and Forestry of the Province of Benevento with number 102.
- In 1990 he enrolled at the Court of Benevento as a C.T.U. (technical adviser to the Court or Judge). Since then, he has carried out the activity technical consultant in disputes concerning the floriculture industry and agriculture.
- From 1988 until early 1992 he worked in a cooperative specializing in agricultural services as a controller of cultivations of tobacco, hard wheat and grapevines in the region of Campania.
- In 1992 he qualified for the job of teaching Agricultural Science and Business Management Techniques. Still today he teaches in various secondary schools as teacher on a short-term contract.
- From the end of 1992 until the end of 1996, he worked for the SCROP Flora Cooperative of Benevento as a partner and the only technical superintendent in the management of a glass greenhouse of 15.000 m2. This structure, entirely occupied by the soil-less cultivation of Gerbera on rockwool, was equipped with all the installations and technology for the automated control of climate, light and fertigation in the greenhouse (horizontal and vertical shading installation, drip irrigation, fertigation, methane gas hot water heating system, downwind and upwind opening system at the highest point, CO2 system, stainless steel high pressure -about 70 atm- fog system, rainwater or the company’s own water collection tanks, dutch type tanks and refrigerators for the storage and marketing of flower stems). All the installations and the climate inside the greenhouse were under the constant control of the company’s computer. The fertigation was done taking into account the amount of light that was perceived and read by a sensor and transmitted to the computer. Those years were crucial for the technical-professional growth of Dr. Mercurio. In fact, apart from participating actively in the construction of the greenhouse and of the installations above mentioned, he became the only superintendent of the management and was also involved in all the other duties such as: the purchase of the plantlets, the planting of the plantlets, defence of the plants against various parasites, the daily fertigation, the collection of flowers, storage phase in water, storage in the refrigerators, and the packing and sale of the flower stems. All these experiences lived personally on a daily basis, allowed Dr. Mercurio to acquire a profound knowledge of the industry, both as a grower and a technician. Furthermore, because at the time in Italy there still was not sufficient experience in soil-less cultivation, he travelled a lot, especially to Holland where he took part in several workshops to learn more about the fertilization plans, the interaction between the plants and the external environment, and generally all that concerns the Gerbera cultivation in the greenhouse.
- From October 1996 until today, he has been working with the Company of Schreurs Holland B.V. both as a representative for the regions of Lazio (Rome) and Campania (Naples) and as a technical informant. The opportunity to work with one of the most important Rose and Gerbera hybridization companies in the world, has allowed Dr. Mercurio to have direct confrontation with the growers to share his technical knowledge in the agronomical management of the plants in the greenhouse. The mutual understanding was perfect because the growers saw that he could easily understand their real needs.
- In the summer of 1997 he introduced, for the first time, pure coconut as substratum to a grower in the Naples area. The production and quality of the flowers was so astonishing that still today over 95% of the soil-less production of Gerberas, in the areas under his competence. is carried out using coco-chips as rooting, growth and production substratum. With Schreurs, the relationship with the growers regarding selling and technical support went so well that in 1997 he was commissioned to write a book in Italian, where he could write about his experiences in Italy and in Europe about the cultivation of Gerberas in greenhouses. The work was completed three years later and it was very appreciated by all growers, students and operators of the sector. In 2002 the book was translated and updated in English.
- In 2004 a second edition in English of the book was published and this is the version that is actually on the market at the moment. The work today represents the only complete book regarding Gerbera cultivation on an international scale. Between the Italian version of the book and the second edition in English there are several updates particularly regarding the cultivation of the plant not only in the major European countries (apart from Italy and Holland, also Greece, Turkey, South of France…) but also in countries outside Europe such as Colombia and China.
- In 2006 in virtue of the success of the book on Gerbera, commissioned by the Scheurs company, Dr. Mercurio began to write a new book regarding the cultivation of the Rose in the world. After having travelled to the major producing countries in the world such as: Holland, Colombia, Ecuador, China, Japan, South Korea, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda the book was created and published in October 2007 during the Hortifair which is an international flower festival in Amsterdam.
- In summer 2008 he collaborated with another technician for the introduction of biological and integrated control of dangerous insects and mites of the Gerbera. Today, after a year from this introduction, almost 20% of all Gerbera growers situated in the regions of Lazio and Campania, adopt such strategy with good results.
- Since January 2009 he has been collaborating with the magazine “FlowerTech” (red business bv) writing articles regarding the cultivation of Gerbera and Rose in greenhouse.
- In May 2010, rewrites the first updated version of the book "Cut rose cultivation around the world" (The cultivation of rose in the world).
- From December 2010 collaborates with Flower Research Institute, Gyeongsangnam-Do (South Korea) as an external consultant in the cultivation and genetic improvement of gerbera.
- From January 2012 collaborates with SITECO Substrates, as a technical consultant and commercial distribution as coconut growing media.