The month of the almond harvest arrived 21 days ago. In August, the collectors and farmers have launched the time of collection of this dry fruit that varies depending on the product and the climate of each area. Despite the fact that this year is not going to be “as hard” as others, the Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Ranchers (COAG) shows its “concern” about the poor harvest due to the drought in recent months.
The first phases of the harvest have already been carried out in the main production areas, in which there have already been decreases of between 30% and 50% compared to the figures foreseen in the initial capacity, with even effects in irrigated land, but with greater problems for dry land, according to a statement.
In this way, the drought has affected the yields that are being obtained in kilograms per tree, which are low or very low, something that adds to problems with the size of the almonds. According to COAG, these situations result in a production loss that directly affects the profitability per hectare of the producers, who see how their expenses may not be covered by the low harvest and the “rickety” price levels at source.
The State Board of Nuts, of which COAG is a part, estimated in June a harvest of 120,633 tons of almond grain for this 2023 campaign, 49% above the average of the last three years. However, the Bureau has already warned of the uncertainty that was registered regarding the final harvest due to the negative impact of the different adverse weather episodes and, especially, the long period of drought that the main producing areas will suffer.
COAG demands new measures in the most affected areas
Faced with the previous scenario, COAG has recalled that it has already described as “insufficient” the Royal Decree of measures to alleviate the effects of the drought in the agricultural sector that the Ministry of Agriculture launched to deal with the losses produced and urges to address the situation more forcefully.
In this way, the agrarian organization claims that the CCAAs multiply the aid in the most affected areas, as allowed by said Royal Decree. In addition, considering that it is necessary to redesign production protection policies, such as agricultural insurance, in this context of climate crisis, which especially affects dried productions, such as nuts.