Based on a survey carried out by the Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-ASAJA), in which about 100 citrus growing members participated, the next citrus harvest in the Region of Valencia will fall by between 20 and 30% compared to the previous campaign. The crop reduction will be much more pronounced in the case of mandarins, for which the drop will probably exceed 30%, while in oranges, lemons and grapefruits it could exceed 20%.
The most noteworthy is the 25% and 30% drop expected for Satsumas and clementines, respectively, as well as the 30% decrease that the group of hybrids could reach.
The main cause for this reduction is the natural alternation that citrus campaigns are characterized for; that is, after a season with a high production, as was the case with the previous one, a less fruitful one usually follows.
Unfortunately, the drop in the production adds to the unquestionable increase in the abandonment of citrus farms due to the ruinous prices paid to producers throughout the latest campaign.
Faced with a future fall in the production, the president of AVA-ASAJA said that “prices should reasonably improve in the next citrus campaign compared to the previous year; however, even if the prices are higher, they will not compensate for the overall decline in the income of Valencian producers caused by the steep drop in the production volume.” Therefore, the leader of this organization calls on producers to act with caution when negotiating the sale of their fruit in order to try curbing abuse both in terms of prices and contractual obligations.