Peppers have taken the leading position away from tomatoes in the greenhouses of Almeria, as revealed by the forecast of the production of both crops for the 2019/20 campaign. The pepper acreage will expand considerably, reaching 11,570 hectares; 445 hectares more than last season (+4%). Since 2017, the pepper acreage has grown by an accumulated 1,400 hectares.
In the case of tomatoes, the area devoted to them is expected to be reduced to 8,790 hectares, which is 765 hectares less than in the previous season, when there were still 9,555 hectares (-8%).
One of the reasons for the expansion of peppers is the advances made in biological control techniques and integrated production, which can be applied in 100% of the acreage. Moreover, pepper prices have remained consistent in recent campaigns, despite the usual ups and downs.
The reduction of the area devoted to tomato production is due, on the one hand, to the difficulty in keeping the Tuta absoluta under control in the most recent campaign, and on the other hand, to the greater amount of labor needed for this crop, with higher production costs that have encouraged growers to switch to other crops.
Also worthy of note is the growth of the acreage devoted to zucchini, which now amounts to 8,034 hectares, 595 hectares more than last year (+8%). The reasons for this increase are the crop's quick growth and the lower production costs, which make them a more beneficial alternative.
Lastly, cucumbers will see their area grow by 187 hectares, going from 4,677 hectares last season to 4,864 hectares (+4%) this time. One of the reasons for this rise is that some tomato producers have made the switch to this crop. The eggplant acreage will also increase to 2,207 hectares.