Spain: Strawberry campaign generates close to 3,000 jobs in Avila

The strawberry campaign, already in its final stages with the pulling up of plants, generates close to 3,000 jobs every year in various areas of northern Avila, where a dozen firms from Avila, Madrid and Huelva are based.

It is precisely to Huelva where 80% of the plants are being taken to be planted around April, and which are classified now by temporary workers in fifteen towns from Valle Ambles and La Moraña.

These plants grow on close to 450 hectares, which are set up in March for the planting a month later, which are pulled up by machines and then taken away to be classified by diameter, root and size.

This was explained by Carmelo González, owner of Gardisancho S.L., one of the four firms working with this crop at the small town of Niharra (161 inhabitants), located 16 km away from Avila, where about a thousand people are devoted to this activity.

González has hired 300 people this year, mainly natives of Avila and Extremadura's Jerte Valley, although also some from Bulgaria, Romania and Morocco.

His firm alone exploits 60 out of the 100 hectares devoted to strawberries in Niharra; a small increase compared to last year, proving that this sector withstands the recession better than others.

As a testament to this, every day two trucks full of plants leave for Morocco, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and some other places in Spain, especially Huelva, where around 80% of the goods are shipped.

According to Gardisancho's owner, his firm works with almost 40 companies from Huelva, which will fill up the 8,000 hectares devoted to this crop in that province with strawberry plants originally grown in Avila.


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