After analyzing the latest data on this campaign provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, LA UNIÓ de Llauradors stated that "the Valencian Community's summer fruit sector is at risk and could become irrelevant. The unfavorable weather in spring with persistent rains and low temperatures, as well as a cold winter without hours, has caused a significant decrease in harvest."
"In this campaign, the Valencian Community produced about 25,000 tons of apricot, peach, plum, and cherry, i.e. 65% of the average of the last campaigns and 66% lower than the production of 2021, not including nectarines."
"In peaches, the reduction in Valencian production has been alarming, with a loss of approximately 50% of production compared to the average of the last five years. Compared to the average of the last five campaigns, plum production has decreased by 67%. Apricot production has only stood at 25% of the average production of the last five marketing years. In cherries, there has been, at best, a 59% reduction compared to the average of the previous five campaigns and, in specific cases, up to 100%."
"In addition to this decrease in production due to weather conditions, sharka disease has been detected in peach farmers in Carrícola (Vall de Albaida). To date, this disease had only affected apricot farmers," the organization adds.
LA UNIÓ is aware that the sharka is not considered a quarantine disease in the EU and, therefore, the actions to be taken may be conditioned, but the seriousness of the situation and the fact that we are at the beginning of the infection requires rapid and forceful action.
In this regard, LA UNIÓ has already requested the Ministry of Agriculture to adopt measures in response to this detection. They have asked the Ministry of Health to sanction the nursery that has not guaranteed plant health and sold infested plants and to establish an action protocol that includes some measures to combat the disease. These measures include traceability from the sales of nursery plants to detect possible affected or potentially affected plots, mandatory measures and recommendations that the people with affected or potentially affected plants in their plots must adopt, and measures that guarantee the non-dispersal of plant material from the affected or potentially affected plots, and recovering and establishing the budget line, a request LA UNIÓ made in June, to offset the costs of grubbing up the affected plots, disinfection, and new planting.
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