- François-Xavier Branthôme
- 2017 production
At the beginning of October, the FEGA (Spanish Agrarian Guarantee Fund) announced a provisional amount for aid dedicated to processing tomatoes of EUR 176/ha for the 2017 season.
For the current harvest, Spain's tomato growing autonomous communities declared a total surface of 36 036.27 hectares, of which 23 790 338 hectares were planted in Extremadura. The total amount of aid granted to Spanish operators was EUR 6.35 million (approximately USD 7.47 million), so growers of processing tomatoes will receive slightly more than EUR 176.2/ha (amounting to EUR 4.192 million distributed in Extremadura, 1.55 million in Andalusia for the 8 824 ha dedicated to processing tomatoes and EUR 602 500 for the 3 914 ha planted throughout the rest of Spain).
The autonomous communities can call on anticipated payments – before 1 December 2017 – to benefit from this aid, which can represent up to 70% of the total amount paid to growers. They then have until 15 February 2018 to declare to the FEGA the total surfaces eligible for the payment of 2017 subsidies. The Fund will then determine the total amount of aid to be applied, taking account of ongoing payments and complementary payments still to be made.
In its communications, the Spanish Fund insisted on the temporary character of these per unit amounts, which have been determined with a view to advance payments, and explained that the final surfaces declared next February could give rise to adjustments "that will not always necessarily be increases".
Extremadura: results have been higher than planned
At the same time, the Spanish press revealed that the season in Extremadura ended with a result very slightly higher than the initial contract volumes. According to the Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Extremadura and the agency Mesa del Tomate, the region's growers reportedly delivered 2 081 30 metric tonnes to the different processing plants, whereas contracts stated just 2 059 783 tonnes. So deliveries were 1.05% above contracts.
This result indicates an increase in agricultural yields once again, which have reached approximately 88.3 metric tonnes per hectare. Most of the crop, amounting to approximately 1 202 891 tonnes or 60% of the total volume, was processed by the cooperative operators of the region.
It is important to note that the exceptional results of the late crops, which exceeded both expectations and the usual average results in terms of quantity and quality, have compensated for the losses caused at the beginning of the summer by successive heat waves, which had a major impact on the fruit set of early varieties.
"The campaign has closed better than expected. It has been a normal campaign. All contracts have been fulfilled and average production levels have been reached. The final result, compared to what we had at the beginning of the season with the heat and losses of early tomatoes, has been more than satisfactory for the producers, who have salvaged a year that appeared to be very problematic," pointed out Domingo Fernandez, the President of the fruit and vegetable section of the Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de Extremadura, in an interview granted to the local press.
Some complementary data
Autonomous Spanish communities