The situation that the Spanish onion sector is currently going through puts its future viability in jeopardy. The growth of over 20% in the cultivated acreage this year, together with the increase in yields, with numerous plantations exceeding 100,000 kg/ha, have led to overproduction, and consequently to plunging prices.
At the moment, the price paid to producers is of around 3 cents per kilo; a record low price, which in some cases has resulted in the abandonment of plantations and their non-harvest, as costs could not be covered. The cost of producing a kilo of onions currently stands between 7 and 11 cents.
This difficult situation for Spanish growers, who export 48% of their production, has been further aggravated by the overall growth of onion production in almost all European countries, making access to these markets even more difficult.
Given this serious situation, the Onion Producers Association of Castile-La Mancha (PROCECAM) plans to hold a meeting on 3 December in Villarrobledo, Albacete (the main Spanish province in terms of production), with the goal of analysing and proposing solutions to this complicated scenario.
At the same time, a workshop on Certified Onion Seeds will also be held, promoted by the National Association of Plant Breeders (Anove), in which the sector's future challenges for continuous product improvement will be analysed.
Castile-La Mancha, with 12,142 hectares of onion plantations, is currently the largest producer in Spain (24,180 ha), with over 50% of the country's cultivated acreage. Its production, reaching 805,985 tonnes, represents 63% of Spain's total onion production (1,284,415 tonnes).
Onion Producers Association
of Castile-La Mancha
Calle San Clemente, 50
02600 Villarrobledo, Albacete