Olive Harvest in Valencia Predicted to Fall by 75 Percent

The regional farmers union warns the decline could result in €70 million of losses. They want expanded insurance coverage and financial aid to help growers get by.
By Simon Roots
Aug. 23, 2022 14:12 UTC

The Valencian farm­ers union (La Unió) has fore­cast a dis­as­trous olive har­vest for the region, with an aver­age decrease of 75 per­cent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

Estimates vary by province, from a 68 per­cent drop in Alicante to an 85 per­cent drop in Castellón.

Production losses alone are pre­dicted to cost the autonomous com­mu­nity €70 mil­lion. Growers in the province of Valencia are expected to lose a total of €25 mil­lion, those in Castellón €22.6 mil­lion, and in Alicante €21.9 mil­lion. In addi­tion, very few olive farm­ers in the region carry insur­ance for their crops.

See Also:2022 Harvest Updates

As has been the case in many Mediterranean olive-grow­ing regions, a series of unsea­sonal mete­o­ro­log­i­cal events have com­bined to affect Valencia’s groves severely.

Spring was char­ac­ter­ized by extreme vari­a­tions in weather, includ­ing flood­ing, hail­storms and both abnor­mally high and abnor­mally low tem­per­a­tures which caused humid­ity and frost, respec­tively.

These, in turn, led to mass fun­gal infes­ta­tion result­ing in wide­spread defo­li­a­tion; and severely delayed or inhib­ited flower and fruit devel­op­ment.

Due to the severe eco­nomic impact such high pro­duc­tion losses would have, the union has called on the major agri­cul­tural insurer Agroseguro and the regional Ministry of Agriculture to offer finan­cial incen­tives and sub­si­dies to olive grow­ers across the Valencian Community to increase insur­ance cov­er­age against such an even­tu­al­ity.

The orga­ni­za­tion has already pro­posed that the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), due to enter into force in January 2023, include an addi­tional €100 in aid per hectare for all rain-fed crops, includ­ing olive groves, to encour­age more sus­tain­able cul­ti­va­tion prac­tices with lower envi­ron­men­tal impact.

They draw atten­tion to the fact that in addi­tion to the direct envi­ron­men­tal dam­age they cause, high-den­sity (inten­sive) farm­ing meth­ods are mak­ing tra­di­tional groves less com­pet­i­tive, thereby putting their future at risk.


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