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The calibre of over 40% of Fino lemons has remained small

Spain: Loss of vegetables and citrus in Alicante due to water shortage

The lack of rainfall during the past autumn and the current winter, added to a severe lack of political action to tackle the impact of extreme drought, has already had consequences.

Asaja Alicante has reported the loss of more than 1,000 hectares of vegetables in the region of the Vega Baja, mainly affecting artichokes, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes or sweet potatoes. Moreover, citrus fruits, which are flagship crops in terms of acreage and profitability, are also affected. In fact, the calibre of more than 40% of Fino lemons has remained small and they won't be marketable overseas, and if they are sold in the domestic markets, the prices will be very low, so the sector is facing losses worth millions of Euro.

In addition to the loss of crops and the economic blow for producers this season, the drought has caused large export companies established in the Vega Baja to consider planting in other Autonomous Regions with a greater availability of water so that they can meet the demands of European markets. So, apart from the fact that investments will move away from the province of Alicante, there is fear of a massive loss of export companies, which are a very important source of revenue for the province and the Region of Valencia.

Frost damage
Also, the lack of water also makes crops and trees much more sensitive and vulnerable to frost and this is another consequence of the drought. "If the thermometer goes down to zero degrees Celsius at night, as it happened last night and is expected to happen in the next few nights, the damage by drought will be even greater, since the plants, which haven't received water for very long and have no moisture, are very vulnerable. This, in addition to affecting the fruit, can even burn and kill the tree," says the president of Asaja Alicante.

Source: ASAJA

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