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Spain: Andalusia grants aid to modernise asparagus sector

The Government of Andalusia has granted aid totalling more than 530,000 Euro to two asparagus cooperatives of the Poniente to encourage the modernization and improvement of the crop's production processes and distribution.

The Board has revealed in a press release that the companies that will receive the funds are Los Gallombares, based in Loja, Granada, and Centro Sur, based in the municipality of Huétor Tájar, also in Granada. They will receive 367,002 and 171,517 Euro, respectively, corresponding to the 2016 Operational Fund.

A total of 1,200 agricultural producers, grouped in both cooperatives, will benefit from these investments, "which will help improve the quality of this flagship product for the province and promote research and the implementation of integrated production techniques."

This has been highlighted by the territorial delegate of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Manuel García Cerezo, who stressed that these investments are testament to the Government's "commitment to innovation and quality in the production and marketing processes, as well as to the product's traceability."

In the case of Los Gallombares, SCA, which is chaired by Pedro Sillero and brings some 700 producers together, the delegate explained that the aid will facilitate the development of "actions aimed at improving the production system and the quality of the products, as well as food safety (traceability), while guaranteeing environmental respect and sustainability and the implementation of integrated production techniques."

For his part, the president of the Centro Sur cooperative, Antonio Zamora, stressed that the investments will help them "strengthen our leadership in the asparagus market, where we sell a unique product under a designation of origin."

"Today it is the biggest producer and marketer of green asparagus in the European Union and the only one that sells Triguero asparagus from Huétor Tajar under the label of a Protected Geographical Indication," pointed out García Cerezo.

The cooperative Los Gallombares, which was set up in 1995 following the initiative of a small group of producers, reached a total production of six million kilos last season, with a turnover totalling 18 million Euro.

For its part, Centro Sur was founded in 1977 with 40 producers from the municipality of Huétor Tájar and currently, in addition to the cultivation of asparagus, it grows artichokes, onions, potatoes, watermelons and other horticultural crops. It produces around six million kilos per year and generates 22 million Euro in turnover, with an area of 850 hectares devoted to asparagus.

Source: Europa Press

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