The jury of the XVI Andalusian Agriculture and Fisheries Awards have selected this year's winners. The awards, which are granted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, recognize the professionals and companies that have played a prominent role in the agricultural and fisheries field in 2021. The goal of these awards is also to promote awareness and interest in agri-food activities, including agricultural, livestock, fisheries, and agro-industry-related activities among Andalusian citizens and businesses.
The Agriculture category award was awarded to the Provincial Agricultural and Livestock Cooperative San Isidro (QUASI) and, posthumously, to Antonio Vergel Roman. This allowed the Andalusian Government to recognize the work of an Almerian fruit and vegetable cooperative that was founded in 1944 and has established itself as one of the world's largest marketers of tomatoes for fresh consumption, thanks to the efforts of its members. It also permitted the Ministry to highlight and value the great professional career and work carried out by Antonio Vergel, who died this October and was a member of the Official College of Agricultural Technical Engineers of Western Andalusia (Coitand) since 2004 and its president between 2007 and 2022.
This year, the Innovative Initiative category award was awarded to Avomix SL, a company from Malaga with more than 15 years of experience in the subtropical sector that is dedicated to the transformation of avocado, mango, and other fruits using innovative High-Pressure Processing (HPP) technology to preserve the fruits' flavor, texture, and natural vitamins with a high level of food safety.
The Ministry awarded the 'Sustainability' award to Manuel Vizcaíno Alcala, who has dedicated his life to promoting good water management. Vizcaino has been part of the Hydrographic Confederation of Southern Spain and was the president of the Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation for eight years (1996-2004).
The 'Rural Woman' award has been awarded to Ana Maria Martos, a young farmer from Granada that is better known as ‘Anita la Cortijera’. This' Youtuber' publicizes life in the countryside and defends the importance of making the work of women in this sector visible. Ana Maria Martos has more than 60,000 followers and is a true influencer who uses social networks to bring the rural world closer to society as a whole and especially to young people.