Spain: Cost of greenhouse tomato production up by 34% in Almería

Agricultural production costs have increased continuously since the beginning of the so-called energy crisis. This situation has a more severe impact on intensive production in greenhouses. "The level of intensification of these farms makes them more vulnerable to these fluctuations. Therefore, tomato producers -which is considered the 'king' of horticultural products in terms of production costs- are forced to obtain a higher yield per square meter to maintain the profitability of their farms," ASAJA-Almeria, a Spanish growers organization, stated.

According to a report prepared by the agricultural organization, "the current production costs of tomatoes have increased on average by 34% in the total costs borne by producers, which translates into €21,000 per hectare. Labor accounts for 40% of the production cost in a greenhouse dedicated to tomato cultivation, and fertilizers costs account for 13% (+ €3,200), and phytosanitary products for 11% (+ €3,000).

"The amortizations of the structures necessary for production, as well as the plastic inputs used in our agriculture, have increased by more than 40% since 2021. There's also been an unprecedented increase in the price of other inputs or supplies such as electricity, water, and agricultural diesel."

In the current season, horticultural prices have been responding to these increases since 2023 began. This situation is forcing producers to achieve above-average yields. "At the moment, product prices are good, but we'll only know at the end of the campaign if the production volume obtained compensated for the increase in costs," stated Adoracion Blanque, the president of ASAJA Almería.

"In a global context, in which some competitors are having problems producing in winter, we've faced different issues, such as the heat wave in October and November that led to an increase in pests and diseases linked to a reduction in some horticultural productions," ASAJA-Almeria stated.

The agricultural organization urged "the Central Government to reduce the tax burden on the agricultural sectors to avoid the closure of farms, something that already happened in the last campaign in some agricultural sectors, such as the dairy sector, because producers couldn't bear the increase in production costs."

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