The Association of Agricultural Cooperatives of Extremadura (Acopaex) confirmed that the region's tomato production has decreased by 30% this season. Domingo Fernandez, the president of Acopaex, said the initial forecasts were production would decrease by 20% as a result of the drought but that the intense summer heat had aggravated the decrease in production. As a result of these circumstances, the quantity contracted with the companies had to be reduced in relation to previous years, when there was also no stock from other years, he added.
In 2021, the region produced 2.1 million tons of tomatoes. This year's drop in production has led to a decrease in sales, but prices have behaved optimally and have been higher than last year, he added. However, production costs (gas, electricity, fuel...) have skyrocketed. Thus, the producers' profitability and profits are scarcer this year.
The climatic situation has also affected maize, rice, and olive groves, which are expected to have significant decreases in production. "Ultimately, it has been a complicated year globally, and we still don't know if the lack of water will continue for the next exercise," the head of Acopaex stated.
Fernandez agreed that the agricultural sector should reflect on the future of Extremadura's countryside in the face of situations such as drought. However, he said, "we can't fight the absence of water... all we can do is to wait for the rain and what happens."