Bad weather is the main cause of losses in the fields of Galicia, Spain. The compensations given by insurance companies for damages caused by extreme weather events last year affected more than 3,600 hectares and exceeded 1.4 million Euro, according to data provided by the Spanish Association of Insurance Entities of Combined Agricultural Insurance (Agroseguro).
A decade ago, several agricultural producers in the Valencian town of Picassent started planting kiwifruit in the region, as they were looking for an alternative to oranges, whose price was falling sharply. The manager of the Agro-Cítrica cooperative, Vicente Fort, said that this town has ended up becoming the largest kiwifruit producer in the entire Region of Valencia.
According to estimates from the Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-ASAJA), storm Gloria has caused economic losses totaling over 62.6 million Euro to the Region of Valencia's agricultural sector. Citrus crops, agricultural infrastructure and seasonal vegetables have taken the worst part of a storm that has caused damage by wind, cold, rainfall and hail, mainly in the regions of La Ribera, L'Horta Sud, La Safor and La Marina.
"First a flood in September and now this hail storm. The truth is that this is becoming a very difficult campaign. The weather is not giving us any rest," says Miguel López, manager of the production and marketing company Costa de Níjar. The firm's producer-partners who escaped the floods have now been affected by storm Gloria, which has mainly hit the area of Níjar in the form of hail.
Road AP-7 between the Catalan towns of Figueres and La Jonquera, in the province of Girona, has reopened after being cut for 12 hours. This is also the case of the A-23 between Teruel and Zaragoza. According to the Servei Català de Trànsit (SCT) and Abertis, "traffic has been restored and is back to normal," also in a section of the N-II national road in the province of Gerona where numerous traffic jams were reported due to snow and rains.
Huelva's strawberry production has been slowed down by the low temperatures recorded in recent days, so the volume harvested so far is insignificant, according to Rafael Domínguez, manager of Freshuelva. Regarding the demand, Domínguez said that "the European supply and demand of strawberries at Christmas have stood at the usual levels for that time of the year, after which the demand has dropped considerably and is currently scarce."
Since a few days ago, temperatures have plummeted in Murcia, causing frosts and the slowdown in the growth of vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower (whose prices are already rising), as well as leafy vegetables. "Progress in the broccoli and cauliflower harvests is very slow due to the lower temperatures, which have plummeted after several weeks with too high levels.
It was a disastrous year for Spanish persimmon. Demand is extremely low, prices are ridiculous (€0.08-0.10/kg) and a lot of the fruit is being left on trees because it is not even worth harvesting it. A grower reports that "no one is paying attention to us. Producer organizations, which were born to defend producers, are actually at the service of the big retail chain and politics.
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