The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Rodrigo Sanchez Haro, It has highlighted the potential that gives the Almeria agriculture its firm commitment to organic production, in the case of horticultural has increased 68% in just one year. This is one of the pillars for the province to "continue to grow in value through quality, sustainability and innovation ", resulting in sales increase every year shows that exports have lived the best September its history with an amount of 86 million euros and increased 5,5%.
This was highlighted Sanchez Haro today its participation in the symposium 'Challenges of agriculture of Almeria', organized by La Voz de Almería. His intervention has had as its starting point the observation that Almería "has the most productive agriculture in Andalusia", making it the largest exporter of vegetables in Spain contributing almost 37% of the total export value. This is thanks to "very efficient production systems", in Almeria Levante they are reflected in "highly specialized and innovative crops that are committed to quality and differentiation"
Proof of this is the enormous impetus given to organic production, to the point that Almeria is the Andalusian province with the largest implementation of organically grown citrus (a 16%, above 1.200 hectares) and especially horticultural, over 2.700 hectares thanks to the strong growth experienced last year, a 68% with respect to 2015. Another example of this leadership are most 20.000 hectares of organic almond.
The Minister stressed that Almería walk in the right direction, because these sustainable productions are increasingly in demand in markets, hence the strong support they have from the Board, It has increased to 241 million (a 45% more) the initial budget to boost organic production. This amount will also increase next year with another year 31 million.
"Organic and healthy is increasingly demanded by consumers", Haro Sanchez noted, it has also strengths Almería as their great effort to implement biological pest control (applied in more than 24.000 hectares) and the bioeconomy. In this sense, he recalled that has been launched from the Andalusian government a strategy of plant remains, "Generating value and employment" and shows that there are already companies that produce plastic or leverage to achieve the most nutritious food for livestock and storable ".
Ecological is a line that differentiates and increases the potential of agriculture in the Levant and across the province, which nonetheless faces a number of challenges that the Minister in his speech husking. Among these are the necessary infrastructure, both transport and energy but mostly water, some works "and has spent many years waiting Almería and the vast majority are the responsibility of the State"
In the chapter on hydraulic needs, Andalusian Agriculture Minister recalled that the central government has unrepaired since 2012 Bajo Almanzora desalination plant, "Stringing excuses and lies of all kinds", a situation exacerbated because "at this point not only to fix it, it would be necessary to extend it in other 10 hectometres ". In addition to other infrastructure such as the desalination plant in Carboneras, He has also claimed a reduction in the cost of water and applied as the central government "in other territories with the same problems Almería".
Also, It reminded the Government of Mariano Rajoy has "a responsibility to provide water to Negratín 10.000 Almanzora irrigators who depend on that transfer, with 24.000 acres of crops and 20.000 jobs ". Thus, He has called a decree-law that would allow transfer while there is water in the reservoir Negratín, "At least to prevent millions of trees die", Citrus and fruit.
Haro Sánchez has opposed the action of the Junta de Andalucía, which in recent years "has invested more than 40 million in irrigation infrastructure and roads in Almería ", with a "government of Rajoy that takes more than five years denying Almería train good conditions" to curb the Mediterranean Corridor and high-speed rail. A global infrastructure deficit (including energy, as the necessary power line Caparacena-Baza-La Ribina) that, a su juicio, "It has to do with poor regional financing applied by the central government to Andalusia, especially bleeding in the case of investments ".
Marketing and concentration
Another challenge posed by the counselor is the need to improve the marketing of products, for what advocates the concentration of supply, promoting new products and formats and diversification of destinations, looking especially to the Middle East and Asia. "But all these efforts will not result if we have a chain of more balanced value", which requires going to a model "of higher value added, more specialized, with more qualifications and, of course, comply with collective agreements and labor regulations ".
To the above, the need to "improve productivity adds, especially in the field ", which should be accompanied by investment in R & D and digitization "is already a reality in the Almeria agriculture", so it has urged to "leverage our leading position". To this he has added another priority, the maintenance of the rural population and generational change, incorporation of youth that "Andalusia is the community that is allocating more resources", with 155 million already made available in two calls.
"Ultimately, no one does more to Almeria Almeria themselves and the Junta de Andalucía, which is the largest investor in the province ", so it has made "a call for everyone lend a hand: administrations, companies and agents economic and social. Together we can do even more to further develop agriculture forefront to lead international markets ". "Together we will be able to promote a more intelligent and sustainable agriculture, generate greater added value and wealth for our land ", has completed.