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Acreage has expanded by 1,500 hectares in a year
Spain: Almost 10,000 hectares of pistachios in Castile-La Mancha
According to the estimates of El Chaparrillo Public Agricultural Research Centre, based in Ciudad Real and dependent on the Regional Institute of Agricultural and Forest Research (IRIAF), the acreage devoted to the cultivation of pistachios in Castile-La Mancha is already approaching 10,000 hectares (most of them organic), which has resulted in Spain becoming the country with the biggest permanent acreage in Europe.
The pistachio production last year reached almost 1,000 tonnes, with an increase of 20 percent over the previous year, confirming the consolidation of this new crop in Castile-La Mancha.
The great demand for this nut, together with the scarce supply, makes its cultivation a safe bet for several decades. According to data from the IRIAF, meeting the demand of the entire continent would require an area of 140,000 hectares, when at present, the acreage devoted to this crop does not exceed 30,000 hectares.
Few countries have the edaphoclimatic characteristics necessary to ensure the perfect development of this fruit and its production over time, and in Spain, the regions of the southern half, such as Castile-La Mancha, are the largest organic producers, since their favourable climate helps cut costs compared to other areas of the European Union.
With this potential for growth in sight, the Council for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development has backed several very important initiatives in this promising sector from the very start.
Thus, a meeting between many of the companies in the sector, which took place on 16 November 2016, served to plant the seed of the new Association for the Promotion of Pistachios in Castile-La Mancha, which initially had five processing companies accounting for about 75% of the regional production (SAT Pistamancha, SAT El Campo, Pistalens SL, Agropecuaria de Frutos Secos SL and Pistachos del Sol) as members, and whose main objective is the protection, defence and promotion of pistachios produced in Castile-La Mancha.
To this end, they are considering the creation and management of a registered quality brand in the short term. The idea is to help the pistachios grown and marketed in the region to stand out from the rest. Only the pistachios produced in the region that meet certain quality standards would be allowed to be distributed under the brand. In this stage, the association has the support and the technical-administrative guidelines of the General Directorate of Agro-Food Industries.
Source: Europa Press
Publication date: 8/16/2017
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