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More producers could abandon the fields of Valencia due to the drought and exorbitant energy prices

Dozens of citrus-field owners in the Camp de Morvedre have already informed the Valencian Farmers' Association (AVA-Asaja) that they will not continue with production this season, given the 'untenable' production costs. Especially the expenditure on electricity on irrigation wells at a time when the drought has increased the need to make use of pumping equipment.

The president of Ascosa-Sagunt, Francisco Campillo, said that the minimum monthly expense of an irrigation engine in the region had gone from some 7,000 euro to 10,000 euro in recent months, without water use. If producers extract water, that figure can skyrocket to 18,000 euro per month because of the exorbitant price of energy, he stressed.

Given this situation, Ascosa-Sagunt supports the request for aid to the central government to alleviate the high electricity cost of irrigation wells that AVA-Asaja has requested in the Valencian Community. "A decade ago, some of the irrigation water was subsidized by the state. This measure was later scrapped but now should be reinstalled. Farmers need these aids to survive," Campillo stated.

In addition to the high costs of energy, fertilizers and plant protection products have also risen by between 90% and 120%, according to the agricultural union. "Spending on treatments is untenable. Not only have their prices increased, but the most effective ones have been withdrawn from the market. We have to make more passes with the products that are available now, which implies more expenditure," he stated. "It's impossible to carry out these treatments without having losses."

"The kilo of Navelina or Clemenules is being paid at 24-26 cents. Meanwhile, energy and fertilizer costs alone, without including labor costs, stand at 36 to 40 cents per kilo," Campillo stated. "Citrus prices have remained intact for years while the price of everything else has increased."



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