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Spain: Avocados and mangoes, the most profitable crops

In just six years, Spain's avocado acreage has increased substantially, reaching 10,000 hectares and generating an average annual production of 50,000 tonnes. In the case of mangoes, the total acreage, concentrated in the province of Malaga, amounts to approximately 5,000 hectares that produce 22,000 tonnes per year.

The main reason for the rise of these crops is their profitability, since growers receive an average of € 1.60 per kilo for the avocados and € 1.30 per kilo for the mangoes, as opposed to products such as citrus fruits, traditional varieties for which growers receive an average of € 0.20 per kilo. Consequently, these crops, especially avocados, because of their resistance to cold temperatures, are a good option for the future in some places along the Mediterranean coast, especially the frost-free areas.

This was highlighted by Emilio Guirado, Agricultural Engineer of the Mayora Experimental Station, in the course of a conference held within the framework of a series of informative seminars on innovative crops, organised by the Council of Professional Associations of Agricultural Engineering at Fruit Attraction.

Another crop that has been featured in these conferences was the irrigated pistachio; a subject addressed by Joan Fortuny, CEO of Borges Nut Division. Borges has decided to introduce irrigation in its pistachio fields, which is generating a greater production, which in a few years could reach up to 2,000 kilos per hectare.

Borges, which is responsible for the crop's boost, is also sharing its knowledge (accumulated after 35 years' experience in the cultivation of pistachios) with growers willing to start producing the nut under irrigated conditions in the area of ​​Segarra-Garrigues, in Lleida, which is suitable because of its cold winters and hot summers. Borges assures these new producers that they will be marketing the product in the same conditions as those of his own farms.

Fortuny also stressed that there is a strong demand for organic nuts, and Spain is a great country for their production, which will allow it to gain strength in the international markets compared to other producers with more experience.

The professional group of Technical Agricultural Engineers, represented by its Board, chose to focus its efforts at Fruit Attraction in the dissemination of the innovative crops that have had the most impact in the markets, and for which agricultural engineers play a prominent role.

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