Cristóbal Aguado, president of AVA-ASAJA:

"Avocado cultivation is under fire in the Spanish Region of Valencia"

In the Spanish Region of Valencia, there are certain warm areas where the subtropical cultivation of avocados is gaining ground. In recent years, the worldwide consumption of avocado has been skyrocketing because of their extraordinary nutritional properties, and thanks to this, the crop yields a fairly decent profitability for the producers. It is therefore logical that more and more producers are considering this alternative.

Its introduction is not comparable to that of oranges, or to the more recent one of kakis, because low temperatures are a big limitation; however, on a smaller scale, avocados are leading an agricultural revaluation and sparking renewed enthusiasm in the sector.

However, despite this good news, AVA-ASAJA is also indignant about the voicing of unjustified negative opinions about avocado cultivation, which denounce the consumption of huge water resources and make other such claims that do not apply to our producing areas.

We, the producers, don't waste a single drop of water. We provide the trees with just the amount of irrigation they need. We know that excess water is detrimental to the crop and we take great care to implement rational irrigation. Moreover, given that it is a new crop for Valencia, there are no serious pests and diseases, so producers are hardly forced to use any active substances to tackle them, and there is a clear trend towards organic production.

We know that we still have a lot of knowledge to acquire about this subtropical crop. And that is why we are in permanent contact with top experts from Malaga and South America, where they have much more extensive experience. I would especially like to thank our colleagues from ASAJA Malaga for their fruitful collaboration. Together, we are running the Operational Group "Avocado Innovation", which aims to boost the productivity, promote the crop's proper expansion, conduct technology transfer and make Spain the number one European supplier of quality and sustainable avocados with a low carbon footprint.

At AVA-ASAJA we have also promoted the launch of the Avocado Producers Association (ASOPROA).

Marketing is another issue to which we should pay no less attention. There are businesses from Malaga which come to Valencia to buy avocados, and they are paying decent prices to the producers.

If we manage to improve in all these aspects and guarantee a reasonable profitability in the medium and long term, more young people will become interested in working in Valencian agriculture, which will help make the rural environment more attractive and stop depopulation. We are providing a substantial counterbalance to those people who are attacking avocado cultivation and speaking ill of those who want to work with this fruit.

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