Almería ensures quality of watermelon and melon
Almeria’s local body (Territorial Delegation of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development) has started this year’s campaign to control the marketing of watermelon and melon in the province. In collaboration with Hortyfruta, the Delegation has officially reported the start of the “No cuts in green” campaign in order to ensure the quality of watermelons and melons on the market. These inspections are carried out in the companies that sell watermelon and melon in the province in order to ensure that these fruits meet the established quality standards and reach the consumer in optimal ripening conditions.
The controls have begun to be carried out at the beginning of the marketing, during this month of April, since there has been a delay in the plantings this campaign, and they will be maintained until the closing of the melon and watermelon campaign, at the beginning of July, depending on the different production areas and harvest times. The Territorial Delegation of Agriculture has arranged several telephone numbers to report incidents on the quality of melon and watermelon in relation to their sale.
Territorial delegate Antonio Mena said: “During the last campaign our quality inspectors inspected a total of 96 controls where almost 2.2 million kilos of watermelon and melon were controlled and although the campaign was atypical due to the low production, the parameters were met established quality standards, ensuring that the product that reaches the consumer is of great flavour.”
According to the data from the Territorial Delegation of Agriculture in Almería, the estimated area for melon and watermelon in the 2022-2023 campaign will be lower than in the last campaign. The melon area is expected to total 2,309 hectares, compared to 2,431 hectares in the 2021-2022 campaign, a reduction of around 5%. Regarding watermelon, there is also a forecast of a 10% drop compared to last season, reaching 10,020 hectares, 1,380 hectares less than in 2021-2022 when 11,400 hectares were cultivated. This reduction in the area of these spring crops may be due to several factors, one is that the prices of autumn and winter crops, such as peppers, cucumbers and courgettes, mainly, are high, therefore farmers are maintaining the crop until prices stop accompanying.
The productions reached in the past campaign 2021/22 for watermelon was more than 587,313 tons and in melon 94,776 tons. The forecasts for this campaign are difficult to make since many factors influence it, especially at the time of fruit setting where the weather is fundamental, although it is estimated that watermelon production could be over 568,000 tons and melon over 102,000 tons.
At the export level in the last 2021-2022 campaign, for watermelon, 376,895 tons were exported, 15.27% less than in the 2020-2021 campaign, but worth 23.7% more, at €268 million. As for melon, 68,641 tons were exported (-20%), for a value of €66.7 million (+10.25%).