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The Valencian Community will harvest 54% more stone fruit than last season

According to a first estimate by La Unió Llauradora, if there are no notable weather incidents in the coming weeks, the Valencian Community will produce 54% more stone fruit than last season. This production volume, however, will still be 57% lower than the average of the past fifteen years.

The organization expects about 13,120 tons of stone fruit. Peaches, donut peaches, and nectarines would account for 50% (86,500 tons), plums for 40% (5,223 tons), and apricots for the remaining 10% (1,355 tons). The province of Valencia would account for 75% of the harvest (9,878 tons), Alicante for 20% (2,640 tons), and Castellón for 5% (718 tons).

The harvest came early and had a good flowering and setting as there were no negative weather episodes. However, there are areas where the trees were affected by water stress because of westerly winds and excessive heat.

Producers highlighted the difficulties in finding specialized labor for thinning and harvesting tasks. They also denounce the increase in imports. The EU has increased imports by 79% in the past ten years. The main origins are Turkey, Chile, and South Africa. Turkey's shipments to European markets have increased by a whopping 425%, shipments from Chile by 29%, and shipments from South Africa by 22%.

Measures to prevent the disappearance of crops
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture in 2022, the Valencian Community had 7,162 hectares of stone fruit crops. 42% of the area (2,981 ha) is devoted to apricot crops, 39% (2,800 ha) to peaches, and 19% (1,381 ha) to plums.

So far this century, the area devoted to stone fruits in the Valencian Community has decreased by 12,132 hectares (-60%), at a constant annual rate of 8%. The area devoted to apricots has fallen by 3,133 hectares (-51%), the peach area by 4,346 hectares (-54%), and the plum acreage by 4,653 hectares (-77%).

La Unió has proposed a series of urgent measures to reverse this situation. The first measure is carrying out promotional campaigns highlighting the region's fruits' great quality, proximity, and how these productions benefit Spaniards and the environment, as opposed to non-EU fruit.

La Unió also demands a research budget increase to obtain varieties increasingly adapted to climate change to be competitive in the markets.

La Unió considers that agricultural insurance is a fundamental tool for farmers, especially given the significant increase in the accident rate in recent years. Therefore, it proposes that the government increase the insurance subsidies for professional fruit farmers to 70% (the maximum limit allowed by the EU).

For more information:
Carles Peris
La Unió
Tel.: +34 963 530 036
[email protected]

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