Weather catastrophe costs Spanish agriculture millions
Vegetables, olive groves, citrus fruits, fruit trees and vineyards are all affected by the weather front that ravaged the coast of the Valencian, Murcian and Andalusian in the second week of September. In the Valencian community, the most affected areas were those of Vega Baja and Alto Vinalopó. In Vega Baja, total loss of some flooded vegetable fields is expected, including artichoke, potato, sweet potato, sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower.
In total it is estimated that 6,000 hectares of vegetables have been destroyed in the Valencian community, according to AVA-ASAJA calculations. In the region of Murcia, the rain also left serious damage to vegetable crops, and the subsequent hailstorm affected the planting of broccoli in Lorca.
In Almería, it is estimated that almost 1,000 hectares of greenhouse are affected, mainly in the Region of Níjar, as well as 500 hectares of outdoor cultivation in Pulpí, Huércal-Overa and the municipality of Almería. The most affected crops are tomato and courgette.
In Malaga, hail caused damage to artichoke, lettuce and tomato, while in Antequera, it affected asparagus production.
The secretary general of ASAJA Murcia, Alfonso Gálvez Caravaca, said, “In the face of the serious and great losses that occurred both in the Murcian agri-food sector and also in the society and economy of our region, we understand that it is a fundamental priority that economic aid be obtained for all those affected through the EU Solidarity Fund, created to address extraordinary situations like the one we have experienced recently. Many stores are completely flooded, and it will take at least three weeks to a month to get to work normally. This is very important as campaigns are beginning and we have to meet the requests of our customers.”