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Spain: Hydroponic tomatoes as alternative to peppers in Murcia
The Council of Water, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Murcia has carried out a test in Torre Pacheco to learn about the varietal behaviour of different types of tomatoes for fresh consumption, grown in greenhouses with hydroponic cultivation on coconut fibre. The test is mainly aimed at students, growers, technicians and research personnel involved in the horticultural sector of Campo de Cartagena.
The test with coconut fibre is being carried out in a 320 square metre greenhouse located in the Integrated Centre for Training and Agricultural Experiments (CIFEA) of Torre Pacheco, where the behaviour of 14 varieties of different types of tomato (Canary, pear and cherry, among others) is being analysed.
The Council believes that the quality of the various types of tomatoes grown in greenhouses under the climatic conditions of Campo de Cartagena makes it possible for them to serve as an alternative to the (dominant) cultivation of peppers in the area, with small productions that could be demanded by local traders and markets at origin.
Tomatoes have a high nutritional value and are rich in vitamins and other antioxidant compounds, which makes them widely consumed on a global scale. In Mediterranean countries, up to 30 and 40 kilos per person per year can be consumed in Italy and Spain, respectively, both fresh and in various formats offered by the canning industry (whole, sliced, juices, sauces, etc.).
The acreage devoted to fresh tomatoes in Spain amounts to around 60,000 hectares, of which approximately 15,000 hectares are produced under protected conditions in the provinces of Murcia, Almeria, Alicante and the Canary Islands. In the Region of Murcia, there are about 4,500 hectares devoted to the crop, half of them under protected conditions (under mesh and in greenhouses).
The national production amounts to around 3,600,000 tonnes, of which 540,000 tonnes are grown in Murcia. A large share of the national production, 950,000 tonnes, is intended for export, especially to EU countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Germany.
Source: Europa Press
Publication date: 7/20/2017
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