Spain: tomato acreage in Extremadura will increase by 3,000 hectares this year

The producers of the Community of Irrigators of Orellana, which received support irrigation last week, will have three more days of irrigation, from April 24 to 27, to water their tomato plantations, mainly fruit trees and permanent crops.

Between the two support irrigations, 18 to 20 cubic hectometres of water will have been made available to producers. "Producers couldn't wait for water until May 1, when the official campaign begins," stated Francisco Plaza, a member of the Community of Irrigators of Orellana.

This year, tomato producers will only receive 60% of the irrigation water that is usually allocated for the campaign. The planting of tomatoes in the region of Extremadura has already begun, and, according to estimates, some 21,000 hectares will be planted, i.e., 3,000 more than last year. The campaign, however, is not easy because of the drought and the high temperatures there have been this spring. "We are planting and, at the same time, mounting the irrigation system. Otherwise, the plants won't endure," stated producer Jose Antonio Quintana.

Prices are rising this year for producers. "It's a reasonable price because it's gone up quite a bit. Last year the average price stood at 102, and this year it's at some 150 euros per ton," stated the president of Tomates del Guadiana, Domingo Fernandez. Producers acknowledge that the industry has understood the situation they are going through.


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