The onion harvesting campaign will begin shortly in Castilla-La Mancha, where the onions currently enjoy good vegetative health despite the effects of the Fusarium fungus in specific batches, a result of the combination of heat and excessive humidity. Fortunately, it doesn't affect quality, the sector stated.
Currently, Andalusian onion producers are being paid 10 and 12 cents, or less, for their onions. According to the head of Onions and Citrus at COAG Cordoba, Salvador Fernandez, several spokespeople of La Mancha's onion sector have stated that they hope they won't be affected by the price crisis that is affecting Andalusian producers.
Luis Rubio, the manager of the Castilla-La Mancha Onion Producers Association (Procecam), said there was a lot of fear but that they expected prices would have a positive evolution. La Mancha has 11,502 hectares planted, accounting for 44.4% of the national area, and is expected will produce 835,058 tons of onions, i.e. 57.9% of the national production.
Castilla-La Mancha could face the same issues as Andalusia. However, there are differences regarding the market outlets for each type of onion. The onion from La Mancha has more skin and color, and it can be stored. Meanwhile, the Andalusian yellowish onion is more suitable for quick consumption. "Distribution chains and supermarkets reject this variety because they can cause them problems if they don't sell it quickly," stated Rubio. That's why, while they wait for the new onions from Castilla-La Mancha, they are importing a product that has more demand. Unfortunately, bringing it from far away destinations, such as New Zealand or Chile, has a strong carbon footprint.