Spain: Sector united to overcome cucumber crisis

Last Thursday, the mayor of El Ejido, Francisco Góngora, together with the councilman of Agriculture, Manuel Gómez, and the president of the Local Board of Balerma, Antonio Gómez, visited a greenhouse with a cucumber plantation owned by Juanjo Barranco, who is suffering the impact of the price crisis affecting this product. At the moment. cucumbers are sold for around 0.17 Euro per kilo; an amount that doesn't even cover the production costs.

This price crisis in Almeria is a direct consequence of the high temperatures, which have caused an overproduction of around 60%; therefore, prices have plummeted. "Such a market saturation can only be addressed with a better organization of the supply and the activation of crisis management measures," explained Góngora.

The mayor explained that "it is a temporary situation, but one which is taking too long to resolve. It is the result of various circumstances, such as the weather conditions, production excesses, competition from third countries or the lack of capacity to compete against large distributors." Given these circumstances, Góngora has called for "the entire sector to stand together in order to overcome the price crisis and use the mechanisms that have been in place since 2009 to withdraw cucumbers from the market through the OP's with European funds."

They insist on the fact that this problem requires "joint action" and that "both producers and marketers are aware that we must make use of this withdrawal mechanism and not sell for prices below the production costs."

In this sense, Góngora recalled that "producer organizations play a fundamental role in production planning, marketing and crisis management, since they have access to aid in the framework of certain operational programs."

At this time, in order for the situation to be resolved and for a balance between supply and demand to be achieved, it is estimated that around 30% of the production needs to be withdrawn from the markets at this time.

Another aspect in which the mayor insisted was on "the need for the growers to have access to information and databases on crop varieties or planting schedules in order for them to better organize their agricultural campaigns."



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