In the province of Malaga, the almond harvest is under way. The Asaja young farmers’ association is recommending growers to hold on to the almonds until they fetch a better price.
President of the Malaga branch of the association, Baldomero Bellido: “This year, like with everything else, the shortage of water and the high temperatures have resulted in a reduced harvest. And not only are there fewer almonds, but the big companies aren’t even buying yet, so prices will drop unless we hold on to our supplies,”
The biggest almond producers in the world are California (USA) and Spain, but the balance is heavily weighted towards the American producers, whose harvest is 11% lower this year, at 1,190,000 tons compared with 1,350,000 last year. In Spain, production is expected to be down by 29.27%, at 61,684 tons, of which 29,940 tons are grown in Andalucía.
Currently, almonds are mainly grown in the north of Malaga province, La Axarquía and the Guadalhorce area. Some farmers are starting to plant almond trees in areas where irrigation and mechanised harvesting are possible, but this crop is in decline in traditional areas where the land is very dry and the terrain is very steep, due to the difficulty and costs involved.