The Nuts department of ASAJA in Castile-La Mancha has estimated that the almond production in the new season will be 50% lower than in the previous campaign, when 7,662 tonnes were obtained from the 60,000 hectares in the region, mainly due to the atypical meteorological conditions during the blooming period.
For pistachios, however, with an area of about 10,000 hectares, which accounts for almost 70% of the country's acreage, the production will increase by 30% compared to last year, when about 800 tonnes were obtained.
The sector has assessed the quality of the harvest as very good and has praised the Castilian-Manchegan product, appreciated worldwide because of its organoleptic characteristics and for reaching an extra-large size thanks to the region's ideal climatic conditions and the type of land where it is grown, very suitable for the development of the plantations.
In fact, Manchegan pistachio is renowned for reaching a calibre of 18-20/ounce, the highest at international level, and for a flavour that truly stands out from that of the imported product, as is the case with almonds and the rest of nuts grown in the region.
Producers have been advised by the agricultural sector to focus on quality, to remove bitter almonds from the marketing channels for direct consumption and to opt for plants that guarantee a good performance in the region's soil, and thus obtain a product with unique characteristics and more appreciated in the markets. ASAJA CLM has in fact found that prices increase with such differentiation, with organic nuts, for example, reaching a market price more than 20% higher than that of conventional ones.
The Nuts department of ASAJA has also stated that producers must be prepared to face any challenges posed by the environment or by European regulations, as well as to come together in organisations and thereby improve the traceability of the nuts grown in the region.