Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Supply and demand

Visitors to the area could be forgiven for thinking that the only crops grown here are citrus fruit. When you travel round, orange and lemon trees seem to be all that you see. However, that is far from true.Vegetables are far more prolific as a crop in the area.

Last year, nearly 5,000 hectares of land, which had been used for growing citruses, are now planted with vegetables. The reason for this change of crop are the low price that lemons and oranges achieve at market and the poor quality of the water available for irrigation which over the last few years was often salty.

In the 80s and the 9s, the trend was to plant citrus trees rather than vegetables. Now that trend has been reversed. Thirty years ago more than half of the 24,000 hectares of kitchen garden in the Vega Baja was used to grow lemons and oranges. Today only 8,000 hectares, one third, are planted with citrus trees.

Who knows, in another thirty years the trend might have changed again and we may see fields of cotton where the vegetables are at the moment.

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