Spain: Alicante's vegetable harvest down 30,000 tonnes due to drought

A report by the agricultural organization Asaja-Alicante warns that the continuing drought in the province has caused the province's vegetable production to fall by 30,000 tonnes, following the abandonment of one thousand hectares. Paradoxically, the rain storms recorded last September were lethal for table grapes, whose production fell by 20%. The intense drought that has devastated Spain has brought down the water levels in many places, including the reservoir at the head of the Tagus, causing the Tagus-Segura water transfer to stop from the month of May. This is putting the agro-food system of the Spanish East in danger.

ASAJA Alicante has accounted for the loss of more than 1,000 hectares of vegetables in the Vega Baja region, which mainly affect artichokes, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Citrus fruits, "one of our flagship productions in terms of acreage and profitability, have also been affected. In fact, more than 40% of the Fino lemons have not reached commercial calibres and it won't be possible to sell them abroad, and if we manage to sell them in the domestic market, prices will be very low, so our agricultural entrepreneurs are facing the loss of millions of Euro."

The agricultural area in the province has dropped by 1%, from 132,775 hectares in 2016 to 131,389 hectares in 2017. The total volume produced exceeds 1.4 million tonnes.

The most significant changes affect fruit trees, with the loss of 1,449 hectares. At the moment, 31,391 hectares are devoted to these crops. The drop in the acreage is also significant in the case of vegetables, with the loss of no less than 1.000 hectares in the regions of the Vega Baja and the Baix Vinalopó. Meanwhile, cereals have lost 439 hectares.


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