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Hailstorms cause losses of 20 million Euro

Spain: Cherimoya growers protest in Almuñécar

Since Tuesday afternoon at 15:00, all cherimoya growers from the Spanish town of Almuñécar, one of Europe's largest producers of this tropical fruit, have locked themselves up at the Town Council building to demand the Administration for aid funds to alleviate the difficult situation the sector is going through as a result of adverse weather conditions.

On 29 August, more than 400 hectares were affected by hailstorms in the area of Valle del Río Verde, which caused the loss of more than 9,000 tonnes of cherimoyas and around 20 million Euro. They assure that production losses will continue for the next three to four years due to the severe damages suffered by the trees.

"We expect a 50% drop in production volumes next year," adds Antonio Sánchez, president of the Regulatory Board of the Protected Designation of Origin Cherimoya from Almuñécar, who also took part in the protest.

"We would like to receive the same attention from the Administration as the growers affected by hailstorms in El Ejido, Almeria. All producers should receive the same treatment, regardless of where they live," stated Antonio López.

"Sources from the Administration reiterate that the insurances we currently have are insufficient. The truth is that we pay very expensive premiums, only to be told that the insurance does not cover weather-induced damages," he explains. "A review in the conditions of the insurance is promptly needed. We demand a more active implication, as more than 1,500 families in the area live off cherimoya cultivation."

"We will remain here indefinitely, until the Administration issues a statement, or until we can't take it any longer," concludes Antonio Sánchez.

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