The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) has estimated that, based on consultations with producers from all citrus regions, the production of mandarins and oranges in the 2022/2023 campaign in the Valencian Community will decrease by 10% over the previous season, which was already lower than the average of the last decade.
This new decline in production is mainly due to weather anomalies, especially the accumulation of persistent rains, cold waves, and sudden swings in temperatures during the last spring, which caused problems in the flowering and fruit setting phases.
According to AVA-ASAJA estimates, the decrease will be similar in orange and mandarin production, as well as in practically all the citrus varieties grown in the region. In total, the sector projects to produce almost three million tons of citrus.
“This is enough production to supply the international markets but we're forced to raise prices to guarantee the profitability of the producers. After the disaster of the last campaign, especially in orange, getting a fair price is more necessary than ever. If this year is as bad as last year, more and more producers would abandon their land with the economic, social, and environmental losses that this would entail. Having green fields is the best guarantee to fight climate change both in Spain and in central Europe, where they are already beginning to suffer the consequences of so many uncultivated fields," stated Cristobal Aguado, the president of AVA-ASAJA.
AVA-ASAJA urges both administrations and the sector as a whole to work seriously, with professionalism and transparency to obtain prices at origin that can compensate for the drop in marketed products and the increase in production costs. Indeed, the agricultural organization estimates, based on data from the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research (IVIA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, that the production costs of citrus fruits have increased by at least 40% in the last two campaigns, due to the increase in the main inputs of the crop: electricity, fuels, fertilizers, phytosanitary, etc. The average production costs stand at around 0.32 €/kg in oranges (Navelina variety) and 0.39 €/kg in mandarins (early clementine varieties). Thus, producers could be losing money in many cases if they sell their products below these prices, especially when fewer products are being marketed.
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