Spain: Multiple reports of kiwifruit and avocado theft in Valencia

Kiwifruit and avocado growers in Valencia are being heavily hit by theft. In recent times, both subtropical fruits have been gaining ground in the Region of Valencia because of the attractive prices paid for them, compared to traditional products, but this also seems to be attracting thieves.

The Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-ASAJA) is receiving many reports of kiwifruit and avocado theft, even from farms that have a perimeter fence, and whose installation has required a considerable investment. The agrarian organization points out that the theft of kiwifruit is mostly reported in the municipality of Picassent, while the avocado fields most frequently hit are in Les Valls, in the Camp de Morvedre.

An associate from Picassent, for example, has already filed three complaints to the Guardia Civil in four days due to a series of kiwifruit robberies in his fenced field. The total volume stolen in the three incidents amounts to about 7,000 kilos, and taking into account that the average price stands at 0.60 Euro per kilo, the producer has lost about 4,000 Euro. The grower says that the thieves managed to gain access to the farm after forcing and lifting the fence, and that he has lost about a third of his production. This will turn a campaign with excellent commercial prospects into one with severe financial losses. His case, unfortunately, is not an isolated one.

The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, stresses that "insecurity in the fields has reached unacceptable levels and is a scourge that threatens the viability of hundreds of farms. Inconceivably, a producer can go to their place of work and find that their livelihood has been stolen with ease and total impunity. Instead of making the life of growers tougher with more and more bureaucracy, we want an administration that allows us to work in peace and with the protection that we pay for with our taxes."

Aguado has sent a formal request to the Government delegate in the Region of Valencia, Juan Carlos Fulgencio, to demand more surveillance means in rural areas, especially in the areas where crops are currently ripe and ready to be harvested.

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