The storm that hit the Costa Tropical de Granada over the weekend with winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour has mainly affected the region's avocado production. According to estimates from the agricultural organization COAG, the storm could have affected almost half of Hass avocado production, which is in full harvest.
"The wind has affected the production, which was already small this year," lamented Juan Camacho, a member of Tropicales de COAG. "The damage hasn't been assessed yet, but we estimate that up to 50% of the avocado production could have been affected." According to estimates, Malaga and the Granada Coast will produce 25,000 tons of avocado this season, a much lower volume when compared to the 60,000 tons obtained last year.
Camacho said that avocado prices were stable and that the fruit was being sold at 2.40 euro per kilo. "The product that we couldn't collect because the wind knocked down before it was ready will be used to make guacamole and is worth much less," he explains.
Granada has approximately 7,000 hectares of subtropical cultivation, 4,500 hectares of which are in Almuñecar. Last year the region lost 15% of its custard apple production because of weather events and in 2018 the storms caused losses of up to 1.2 million euro.
This weekend's wind uprooted a custard apple tree in the Rio Verde valley, but the fruit trees that have fallen to the ground do not represent a great loss for the entrepreneurs. "The custard apples that are being picked now are very small. They didn't mature as we expected this year but so far sales have been good. However, since this batch they are smaller, the average value has gone from 1.20 euro to 60 cents, which really hurts our pockets," stated Antonio Aragon, a producer. Antonio Rodriguez, the head of Frutas Los Cursos, a subtropical fruit marketer, said the custard apple had not been affected and that very little production had been lost this year.