Traditionally, due to the greater altitude and, consequently, to the different climate compared to other municipalities in western Almeria, it is in the towns of Dalías and Berja where the horticultural campaign begins. However, on this occasion, as a result of problems with the plants received from the nurseries, most of the producers in Dalías have been forced to replant their crops.
The head of Fruits and Vegetables of the COAG Regional Committee in El Ejido and Dalías, Jerónimo Barranco, assured that, "the delay will oscillate between 15 and 20 days." The statement had to be made, as much larger volumes of pepper are normally produced in the area at this time of the year.
It is still early to know what the consequences of the delay will be in terms of production. Unfortunately, some growers decided not to replant their peppers and to try their luck with courgettes instead, as apparently "some of them have been suffering the consequences of the new virus which is attacking this crop."
Even though peppers are still the flagship product for both Dalías and Berja, a group of around 15 to 20 producers have switched to other vegetables over the past four campaigns, especially aubergines and courgettes. This season, however, due to the aforementioned problems with peppers, the number of growers converting their plantations has increased even more.
In a normal season, the pepper harvest would normally start in early September, which is why producers in Dalías are hoping that the delays will not to have any damaging effects on their interests.