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Capacity for 600 tonnes per campaign

Spain: Castile-Leon will have its first pistachio handling plant in 2018

Alternativas Agroforestales Esla has already started constructing its pistachio and almond handling plant in Villalpando, which will become operative in the 2018 campaign. It will be the first plant of its kind in Castile-Leon, which currently has 450 hectares of land devoted to pistachio cultivation, and where producers are currently forced to ship the production to Castile-La Mancha for the cleaning, drying, peeling, sorting and calibrating.

The project will require an investment of 600,000 Euro and the plant will have the capacity to process 600 tonnes of pistachios each campaign, creating three permanent jobs. During the campaign, it will have up to ten employees.

The promoter company was founded by four technical engineers who have picked Villalpando because of its strategic location, since in its surroundings - within a radius of 30 kilometres - there are more than 100 hectares planted with pistachio trees that will be able to make use of the services of the new plant.

Also, the managers of the company expect the crop to expand in the area in the near future, given its high profitability and the suitability of the climate for the growth of these trees, which require very hot summers and cold winters.

It is a crop that requires a long-term investment, since the pistachio does not become productive until the fifth year of life and the investment is usually paid back in the tenth year, but under normal conditions, it produces quality fruit for seven decades. This has motivated some farm owners to invest in pistachios.

The new Villalpando plant will also be able to handle almonds, of which there are currently some 500 hectares planted in Castile-Leon, 130 of them near this area. Moreover, Alternativas Agroforestales Esla doesn't rule out expanding its activities in the medium or long term with the marketing of pistachios, almonds and other nuts.


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