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The Unión de Uniones blames the drought, but mainly the plague of nematodes

The industrial tomato sector faces more than 30 million euro in losses

The Unión de Uniones de Agricultores y Ganaderos stressed the serious situation that many industrial tomato producers are facing, as their production has fallen, on average, by 60%.

"There was a really bad harvest of industrial tomatoes in the production areas of Extremadura, Andalusia, and part of Murcia due to the severe drought that has hit the crops and the plague of nematodes, which are increasingly resistant to treatments," the organization stated.

"Traditionally, there are some 28,000 hectares devoted to growing industrial tomatoes which yield some 2 million tons of product worth 210 million euro. In this campaign, the area has decreased to 17,000 hectares and the production yield has also fallen, so the sector has lost more than 30 million euro."

The Unión de Uniones blames the drought, but mainly the plague of nematodes that, in some areas, has caused producers to lose 100% of their harvest, as this disease is increasingly resistant to treatments.

"We farmers spend about 10,000 euro per hectare of tomato for the industry. After seeing how this campaign has evolved, if the plague persists, we are not going to continue risking so much on this crop," they stated.

Producers ask the government to authorize the use of plant protection products to combat the disease
The Unión de Uniones has sent a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture requesting the government authorize, on an exceptional basis, the use of 1.3-dichloropropene, a plant protection product which does work against nematode and which is already being used in Portugal.

According to the organization, producer organizations have already been participating in research with other treatments but, unfortunately, none of them have been successful, so they point out the importance of being able to use this solution.

It's also worth noting that much of the concentrated tomato imported into the European Union has been treated with this plant protection product, so there's no point in prohibiting it in Spain and putting at risk a sector that has a great impact on the sector's industry and labor.



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