Orange producers in the Vega del Guadalquivir de Cordoba expect to begin the harvesting work in the coming days, possibly at the beginning of next week, and the marketing plants to start their work around the 25th.
The Junta de Andalucia forecasts that the province of Cordoba, whose citrus area is focused in Palma del Río, Hornachuelos, Fuente Palmera, and Posadas, will produce nearly 364,000 tons, a volume lower than the 378,000 tons achieved in the previous season.
According to the Palmanaranja citrus professional association, employment will be similar to that of previous years: i.e. some 160,000 wages in the field and 112,000 in warehouses.
However, this year the sector is facing the uncertainty generated by the lack of rainfall, which has even led some communities to decrease the water they allocate for irrigation by 25-30%, stated the president of Palmanaranja, Antonio Carmona.
"The farmers have made responsible use of the endowment to carry out the campaign. However, we need rain. If it doesn't rain, producers won't be able to irrigate in the harvest; in fact, it would be necessary to collect 400 to 500 liters per m² to normalize the situation," he said. A hectare of citrus is allocated 4,500 m³ of water, and when there is enough water they get up to 5,500 m³. "The lack of water is the main threat right now," he stated.
Palmanaranja, which is made up of different companies, such as Guadex, Coare, Zamexfruit, and Sunaran, attended Fruit Attraction with its Guadalquivir Valley Orange Quality Seal. “It's a good moment to know customer demand,” Antonio Carmona stated.