According to a recent official survey from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Region of Valencia has 1,455 hectares devoted to avocado cultivation. In fact, the production of this fruit is gaining ground in the province of Castellón as a complement to citrus fruits, which has led the Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (Ava-Asaja) to create the Association of Avocado Producers (Asoproa). Valencian cooperatives are already marketing 800 tons per year, bringing more than 200 members together.
Profitable crop for producers with some threats
So far, the crop has remained quite profitable for the producers, hence its expansion. Sources from Ava-Asaja say that in recent years, the global demand has grown a lot, with Europe consuming ten times more than Spain. Some of the main problems are the climate and the natural alternation of the trees' production. At the same time, some external threats include the crop's great expansion in Morocco and Portugal, where the campaign overlaps with Spain's; as well as the growth in the production and exports to the EU of competitors such as South Africa, Israel and some Latin American countries.
Although there are no official figures, it is estimated that there are about 20 producers in the province of Castellón who are professionally devoted to growing avocados. The municipalities where the crop is mostly being planted are Vilavella, Betxí, Castellón and Vall d’Uixó.
The agrarian organization La Unió de Llauradors is planning a conference on avocados that will be held at the end of February in the city of Castellón. The event will serve to provide information on all avocado varieties and the conditions for their cultivation.