The University of Almería and Anecoop, with the support of the Provincial Council, have carried out a research project to analyze the viability of the cultivation of fig trees in greenhouses, especially those located in the Lower Andarax. The idea is to take advantage of the commercial opportunities entailed in the ability to harvest several weeks or even several months earlier. This crop would offer an alternative to the current ones, and would help in “socially and economically revitalizing municipalities in the interior of the province, affected by a process of continuous depopulation,” said a representative from the Provincial Council.
The fruit, which is closely associated with the summer season, reaches market prices of around four or five Euro per kilo and has excellent prospects, especially in production areas of the Andarax.
The work carried out for months has led to a successful fruit setting and growth in the middle of winter (since early February). The idea is to advance the harvesting schedule by more than a month with respect to traditional dates.
Also, market studies reveal that the demand in European markets is stable and has even increased in recent years, but that the supply comes mainly from non-EU third countries which have become specialists in the distribution of brevas and figs. University researchers believe that an advance in the fruit's harvesting schedule "would result in Almeria's agricultural sector expanding its range of products in both national and international markets." It is a way to diversify and to ask for an improvement in the province's prices and yields.
Studies say that the earlier start of the harvesting and marketing schedules should lead to a more than acceptable improvement in sales prices.