Asaja-Almeria presented its balance of the horticultural campaign in the province, which confirms the pepper's trend of recent years and shows this crop has positioned itself as Almeria's leading horticultural production with more than 12,000 hectares. The pepper thus surpassed tomato, a product that led Almeria's horticultural production for years and that is in clear decline. This year the tomato lost 7.5% of its surface and its value has fallen by 8%, with average prices that are 15 % below those of the previous campaign.
Tomatoes, beans, melons, and watermelons are the products that have lost the highest production value in this last season, unlike the rest of the products. As a whole, the province's production value increased by 5.6%.
According to the organization, this agricultural year has been marked by great differences and instability regarding prices. On the one hand, the results of the early campaign for practically all products were good; on the other hand, the results in spring were marked by the price crisis in crops, such as zucchini, mainly, and melon and watermelon -which still haven't ended – but that have already left losses that could exceed 75 million euro.
The area increased slightly this year and totaled some 32,320 hectares (+ 1.2%), 12,379 hectares of which (+ 5.2%) corresponded to peppers. The surface area of the rest of the products increased by nearly 2%, except for tomato, which continued its downward trend falling by 7.5% (8,554 ha), and beans, which fell by 25%.
According to Asaja, Almeria's production increased by 9.3%, reaching 3.9 million tons for a value that has reached 2,232 million euro (+ 5.6%).
Pepper has led the production with 990,320 tons (+ 5.5%). Zucchini production had an outstanding 45% increase, totaling 696,490 tons, melon production increased by 30.43% and amounted to 150,072 tons, and watermelon production increased by 10.46% and, at the date of the report, totaled 538,850 tons. According to data from Asaja, the value of beans (-10%), melons (-35%), and watermelons (-49%) decreased in this campaign.
The average price is practically the same as in the previous season and stands at nearly 46 cents, which is below the average price of three seasons ago. Taking into account that production costs have increased in the last three years by nearly 25%, the economic sustainability of farms is becoming more difficult every day.