In the County and the Coast of Huelva, producers are already getting ready for the upcoming strawberry season with the sowing of the extra-early varieties, such as the San Andreas, which has just started. The rest will be sown in late September or early October.
As for raspberries, the predominant phenological stage is the vegetative development and ripening of the early varieties. The remontant varieties planted months ago are at a very advanced stage and production is about to begin, according to the latest report issued by the Andalusian Council of Agriculture.
According to the Council, nitrogen fertilizers are still being used in raspberry plantations. In terms of labor, raspberries and strawberries are suffering similar problems, so soilless plantations, which require fewer workers, are expected to become more popular.
Meanwhile, blueberries are still in a vegetative stop phase and being fertilized with nitrogen and potash, as well as microelements, such as calcium. There are plots where new shoots are being attacked by aphids.
Regarding blackberries, most varieties are in a vegetative stop.
Expansion of contracts at origin to other countries
The uncertainty generated by COVID-19 following the negative experience of the latest campaign, in which the crisis prevented the arrival of enough workers, has led employers to consider the possibility of expanding the hiring at origin, which started in 1989 with workers from Poland and Romania and later with seasonal workers from Morocco, to other European and Latin American countries.
The president of Freshuelva, Alberto Garrocho, said that two of the countries that could contribute that extra workforce that is needed for the berry campaigns in the province of Huelva are Moldova and Honduras.
"In order to make this come true in the short term, it will be necessary for the Spanish Government to get involved and proceed to open a collaboration protocol that allows the exchange of workers with these countries," said the president of the employer's association of Huelva.