Frutas y HortalizasNov. 3, 2011
Superficie cultivada se reduce 63% en 20 años
In the last decade of last century there were more than 19,000 harvested hectares and presently there are only a bit more than 7,200 hectares.
The most veteran farmers remember when the municipal end was a true orchard. There were parcels and parcels with almonds, pomegranate, lemon trees, artichokes, vineyards and even cotton, among other products. In 1991, the Elche fields with more than 19,000 hectares of cultivated land, had more than 5,500 with herbaceous and more than 10,500 of woody cultivations.
Artichoke, then one of the highlighted products in Elche’s farming, had more than 1,600 hectares. Cotton had 480, alfalfa and pepper had 400 and green broad beans had 180 hectares. Among the herbaceous cultivations tomato had 420 hectares and melon had 200.
In woody cultivations, the predominance was for the almond with more than 5,400 hectares. Adding up to 1,000 dedicated to pomegranate, a thousand lemon trees, 620 orange trees and 559 hectares of table grape vineyards.
The drop in occupied area by farming in Elche started in the last decade of the last millennium and kept on going for the new century. The council for Agriculture made an up-to-date census, confirming in 2001 that from the more than 19,000 hectares existing in the municipality, the number dropped to 12,300 by then.
A study made by the territorial direction by the Council of Agriculture confirmed, on the opposite, a noticeable rise in the area dedicated to flowers and ornamental plants and nurseries that consolidated in 2006. The transformation was marked as a symptom of the new business culture, in which the first objective was technology and use of existing resources.
Pomegranate and almond kept its specific weight on the Elche fields, with 23.6% of the cultivated area. Pomegranate, with more than a thousand hectares, was already a agricultural product by excellency, with 40% of the total of cultivated area in Spain. The mollar variety was prominent due to the fact of being the most appreciated by its looks and taste.
The world demand, due to excellent properties for health and last campaign’s good results when it’s time to export to several European countries, specially last year, caused an important rise in production for the campaign that started last month.