Greenhouse agriculture in the southwest of Spain is not only an important source of food and employment, as it also plays an environmental role: each hectare of greenhouse cultivation absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that 8 cars produce circulating for one day. In addition, it also contributes to reducing global warming by reflecting sunlight.
According to Jose Manuel Escobar, an expert in greenhouse agronomy and the fourth generation of a family of producers and exporters, greenhouse agricultural production is one of the world's most sustainable agricultural systems.
These agricultural production centers consume 20 times less water than open field crops, Escobar said in statements to Efeagro, while stressing that this cultivation system allows having precise control of the crops and of the resources being used.
In addition, the sun and the climate of the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, especially in certain areas of the Mediterranean coast in the provinces of Almeria, Granada, and Malaga, prevent this system from needing heating and other sources of energy pollutants.
Escobar, who is dedicated to the production of organic vegetables, is one of the precursors of biological control in this type of agricultural facility. In addition, he uses the organic remains generated by his production to obtain earthworm compost in order to develop a sustainable bio-economy.
He has also implemented a direct harvesting system in his greenhouses that allow his products to be fresh and have a useful life that is up to three times greater than that of the rest of the producers, as the vegetables are collected, refrigerated, and shipped to customers on the same day.
Escobar is convinced that these techniques constitute the future of agriculture, within the framework of the new guidelines of the European Union, where he directs practically all of the production of his company, LQA Thinking Organic.
This system makes it possible to maintain the ecological balance, biodiversity, and the water and soil quality, within the framework of a series of practices that include crop rotation, for efficient use of resources; the use of on-site resources, such as natural fertilizers, without using chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms.