Spain: Tomato growers in Tenerife seek alternatives

A few years ago it was still considered a successful economic industry, but now the tomato cultivation in the South of Tenerife is experiencing a severe crisis. Export numbers have fallen sharply and hundreds of jobs have disappeared, according to website wochenblatt.es.

In recent years, tomato growers not only battled plagues and adverse weather conditions, national politics also made things difficult. Subsidy for transportation to the mainland and other countries was discontinued, to name just one thing. In the course of time, various producers were forced to close their business and lay off the workers.

Because of these and other difficulties, growers, experts and politicians are currently exploring alternative ways to lead the sector towards a better future. One Esteban Gonzalez, Councillor for Agriculture of Granadilla de Abona, suggested the construction of factories for the production of tomato sauce and ketchup. His counterpart in Arico, Manuel Marrero, encouraged growers to cease growing tomatoes altogether, suggesting fodder for livestock instead. 

Canary Islands officials are finally starting to see the seriousness of the situation. Recently the regional parliament turned to the European Commission, requesting their aid in reviving a sector that presently employs 15,000 people.





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