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Huelva, Andalusia

Spain: 70% of strawberry acreage insured against bad weather

The Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries from Huelva, Freshuelva, which agglutinates 95% of the berries sector, estimated that 70% of the acreage will be insured against any damaged caused by bad weather this season.

The manager of Freshuelva, Rafael Domínguez Gullén, stressed the importance of insuring the production against frosts and gales, among others, and recalled that last year growers received 9 million Euro in compensation to repair damages to both fruit and infrastructures.

The total strawberry acreage insured last season reached almost 5,000 hectares, which was 55% of the total. The total number of hectares insured then belonged to 672 agricultural holdings with a total production of almost 196 million kilos of strawberries and other berries. The total insured has gone from just 5% in the 2009/2010 campaign to over 50% this season.

This increase is mostly due to the agreements between Freshuelva and the firms offering advice in the application process of agricultural insurances.

From 1 September and until 15 November, it is possible to apply for insurances to protect berry plantations, with an established minimum price for strawberries of 0.5 Euro per kilo. The manager of Freshuelva lamented the lack of funding from Enesa, National Entity for Agricultural Insurances, which will entail an increase in the price of the insurances, which make a distinction between early and seasonal varieties.

The insurance protects the production and facilities against frosts, hailstorms, gales and other exceptional risks, such as those caused by wild animals, fire, flooding, torrential rains and snow, and takes into account the damages caused by rotting, deformations, plant death or plant development delays.

The manager of Freshuelva stresses the importance of insuring the production, because "although the insurance will not save the campaign, it does help prepare for the following one."

Source: Huelvaya

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