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Spain - Citrus production in La Ribera decreases by 30% because of the weather and pests

According to AVA-Asaja estimates, the citrus production in the Valencian region of La Ribera has fallen by nearly 30% as a result of inclement weather and pests. The abundant rains in spring affected the early varieties. The cold in December and January impacted the late productions; some of the most affected varieties were of the Lane Late family. In addition, the crops are being pressured by the South African cotonet and the trip of the orchid (Chaetanaphothrips orchidii).

“The administration does not provide alternatives to combat the pests, and this represents an important food waste,” stated the vice president of AVA-Asaja, Bernardo Ferrer, in reference to the tons of fruit that are lost due to these conditions.

This reduction in production suggests that this season will end earlier than usual. The decrease in production, together with an almost 20% increase in demand for citrus fruits in European markets, has led to a rise in prices that, despite being higher than in other years, won’t compensate for the lack of kilos collected in the countryside.

From persimmon to orange: a return to citrus origins
The producers from La Ribera, which during the last decade had opted to diversify their production by growing persimmon, are quitting this crop and returning to their citrus origins because of the difficulties associated with pests and the reduction in persimmon prices. According to data, there have been no increases in the campaigns of this fruit since 2017.

Persimmon still has room for growth in international markets, but it is necessary to increase its promotion and make it profitable for farmers to maintain the crop.

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