According to estimates from the sector itself, the Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha expects a 20% reduction in the melon production. The acreage in the region has gone from 6,100 hectares in the previous campaign to, at most, 5,000 hectares this year, reports Cristóbal Jiménez, president of the Melon and Watermelon Interprofessional of Castile-La Mancha. In terms of volume, prospects point to the harvest of around 220,000 tons of melons and 190,000 tons of watermelons.
However, an excess in the cultivation of either of these two products could trigger a difficult problem to solve. "It is necessary to produce just what we can sell," said Jiménez.
This is an important message, considering that the number of tourists visiting Spain is expected to fall sharply and, therefore, there will be fewer consumers. A novelty in the current melon and watermelon season is that the number of varieties for export has increased; the idea is to open new markets and decongest the domestic one.
The season of these two flagship products started, as usual, in Almeria, and continued later in Seville and Murcia.