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Córdoba will harvest less garlic as the area devoted to this crop decreased by 50%

Miguel del Pino, president of Asaja's Garlic Sector, reported that the garlic harvest and mechanized collection of garlic in the province of Córdoba had started. The sector expects the harvest volume will fall as the surface area devoted to this crop decreased by 50% over the previous season due to water issues.

Numerous producers chose not to plant garlic because they didn't have enough water resources for the crop to develop with guarantees. This lack of water is due to the emergency caused by the low level of reservoirs last autumn and winter.

Last season, the area devoted to this crop had already decreased. This means that the total area will remain well below a thousand hectares. It's a strong fall compared to the 2,000 hectares devoted to this crop in recent years, which will "obviously lead to a decrease in production."

According to Del Pino, garlic cultivation requires a strong annual investment ranging from 12,000 to 13,000 euros per hectare. At the time of planting, between October and December, "producers believed they wouldn't have enough water to make the harvest profitable because of the state of the Guadalquivir basin. Thus, they chose not to cultivate here and move to other provinces -such as Granada, Málaga, or Ciudad Real- with more water resources," he added.

Things look "more promising" for the next campaign, as the water supplies for summer and autumn that the Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederation has recently approved surpass the 750 m³ per hectare approved last year, he said. However, the situation of Genil-Cabra, which is very important for the municipalities with the largest area of garlic planted, is still dire as the water hardly circulates because it's filled with mud.

Right now, the crops in the field are faring quite well thanks to the rains in March. There will be less harvest because of the decrease in the area planted but, if the weather conditions remain good, producers expect the garlic will have "a magnificent quality".

"It seems that there are interesting prices now because of the lower amount of stock in the market," Del Pino stated. We expect this trend will continue in the coming months, as long as the Egyptian product doesn't continue to arrive, as has been happening lately, he added.

In recent years, the profitability of the crop has significantly decreased due to the sharp increase in costs. Said increase in costs and the limitations imposed by the EU on certain phytosanitary products have also contributed to the decrease in surface area in recent years.

For more information:
ASAJA Córdoba
[email protected]

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