Agricultural farms devoted to the production of olives, citrus and tropical fruits in the Malaga regions of Antequera, the Guadalhorce valley and the Axarquía have been targeted by thieves in recent years, since some of these products reach high prices in the market, according to Antonio Rodríguez, of the Coordinator of Associations of Agricultural Producers of Andalusia (COAG). Moreover, as reported by the Guardia Civil, in some cases the groups of thieves worked for hire and were employed by third parties who stored the merchandise in warehouses.
Damage to materials and machinery
The robberies tend to happen more often during the summer, coinciding with the harvest, and they also cause substantial economic losses and damage to agricultural materials and machinery. The head of COAG said that mangoes and avocados grown in the Axarquía are the most stolen products, especially since they have become trendy products in recent years, reaching high prices.
Last August, the Association of Young Agricultural Producers of Andalusia (Asaja) denounced the theft of more than 3,000 kilos of unripe fruit in a single farm; something that not only harms the producer for the loss of the product, but the entire sector, by devaluing the fruit's reputation before the consumer.
Security forces doing a good job
In spite of this, COAG claims that the situation is starting to improve and has praised the work carried out by the Guardia Civil in recent months with the support of the National Police. "Agents have been brought in and all regions have been covered," said Antonio Rodríguez, who encourages agricultural producers and ranchers to go to the Guardia Civil and file the corresponding complaint against any theft, because that will also contribute to ensuring a greater presence of security forces in the areas with the highest number of incidents.