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Spanish greenhouse horticulture analyzes its main challenges
One of the main conclusions drawn by FEPEX from the Conference, 'The Main Challenges of Spanish Greenhouse Horticulture', was the need for a greater innovation effort to ensure the viability of Spain's greenhouse horticulture sector. The Conference, which was held yesterday, was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, inaugurated by Minister Isabel Garcia Tejerina, and closed by Secretary General Carlos Cabanas. All the main representatives of Spain's horticulture sector participated in it.
According to many participants, the main competitors of Spanish greenhouse horticulture, the Netherlands and Morocco, are registering growth while the Spanish sector is not. In the last ten years, tomato exports, which are the main product of Spanish greenhouse horticulture, have remained practically stable, Meanwhile, Morocco's tomato exports have tripled and the Netherlands has surpassed Spain as the main supplier of tomatoes in the EU.
The differential of yields per hectare that exists between Spain and its main competitors was also discussed at the conference. Spain has much smaller yields than the Netherlands, France and, in some cases, even Morocco.
According to the President of FEPEX, Jorge Brotons, this strong community and extra-community competition is putting strong pressure on the Spanish sector, which needs to adopt urgent measures to reduce production costs and prolong its campaigns to improve its competitiveness.
To this end, they proposed taking urgent measures to improve greenhouse structures to facilitate climate control and to incorporate cogeneration, following the policy adopted by the main Community producers. They also discussed the need to respond to the scarcity and high cost of water in the main producing areas.
The Secretary General, Carlos Cabanas, stated the need to work in different areas to maintain the sector's competitiveness, such as the improvement of structures and covers, crop management, making the sector better known and improving its image. He also proposed creating a private public collaboration platform to identify and prioritize the needs of applied research in the field of greenhouse horticulture.
The meeting was held yesterday at the headquarters of MAPAMA, as part of the work being done by the Ministry for the past year in conjunction with the National Institute of Agricultural Research and Technology (INIA), to analyze the production's competitive factors. The findings collected in this last year, along with the data obtained yesterday, will be set forth in a report about the sector.
Publication date: 4/20/2017
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