Marginal or competitive?


Marginal or competitive?

In Andalusia and Granada the almond tree has traditionally been cultivated on marginal lands, where no other crops were grown due to the characteristics of soil and climate, with very low yields. Despite this, the surface of almonds cultivated in Spain has increased considerably during the last years. An unusually high price that reached 9 euros per kilo in 2015, and a widespread increase in consumption worldwide, have caused the almond tree has become one of the main focuses of attention in the agricultural sector.

In fact, recently, new plantations are being planted in irrigated areas where this crop traditionally did not occur, as an alternative of high profitability. In these cases the choice of varieties can be key to avoid damage caused by frost.

During the 2017 campaign prices have stabilized between 4 and 5 euros; this fact has caused doubts to arise in the sector about the future viability of the almond tree plantations. The question that arises is whether we can compete with other producing areas of the United States whose average productions exceed 3,000 kilos per hectare at a price of 3 euros per kilo of grain, which is the average of the last 25 years.

Pistachio is another crop that is attracting interest among farmers. In fact, in Castilla-La Mancha there is an important expansion and already has 7,000 hectares, almost half of the area cultivated in Spain.

In the province of Granada, pistachio plantations have been planted with uneven results in the different regions.