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"Extremadura's plum sector should be better organized"

Francisco Gómez Lozano is the manager of the San Isidro agricultural cooperative, based in the town of Villanueva de la Serena since 1992, which is currently fully involved in the tomato campaign's coordination and harvesting tasks.

"The tomato campaign is scheduled to start between July 25 and 30. This season has had a normal development, without major incidents, and the production is expected to range between 90,000 and 92,000 kilos per hectare," says Gómez.

The agricultural cooperative San Isidro has a total of 105 producer-partners, who are responsible for providing the raw material sown in about 1,600 hectares. "This year, a contract of 145 million kilos has been closed, similar to the one signed in 2018," says Gómez. "As for tomato prices, they are at the same level as last year, ranging between 69 and 75 Euro per ton, depending on whether it is sold on the farm or shipped to the processing plant."

As for the fruit volume that will be processed in its fruit center this campaign, the 15th since its opening, Francisco Gómez says that "we are facing a difficult fruit campaign. The initial harvest forecasts pointed to growth, since our plum production accounts for 50% of the total, but we were hit by hail everywhere in the Vegas Altas, and plums were severely affected, preventing much of the harvest from reaching the plant. Extremadura's plum sector should be better organized. Meanwhile, peaches and nectarines, although dealing with some difficulties and with very tight prices, are having a more acceptable performance. Our initial forecast was to reach 7,000 tons, but with the hail, the losses will be significant."



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