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Portugal, 2021: record agricultural yields

11/02/2022 - François-Xavier Branthôme - 2021 Season
Productivity in 2021 was the highest ever recorded with an average yield close to 104 tonnes/hectare

Processing tomatoes were featured in the January 2022 issue of the "Fruit and Vegetables" newsletter published by the Confederação dos Agricultores de Portugal (CAP). Among other things, the document presents data on contractual operations and the 2021 campaign – in terms of number of growers, producers' organizations, planted area and production.

The document points out that "if the provisional data published by the IFAP (Instituto de Financiamento da Agricultura e Pescas) is confirmed, the average productivity observed over the 2021 campaign in Portugal was the highest ever recorded, with an average yield of 103.69 tonnes/hectare." The report also states that during the 2021 tomato processing season "the planted area increased by 13.63% compared to 2020, with 16,011 hectares registered, which resulted in a total crop of 1,660,178 tonnes." Similarly, the report mentions "an increase in the number of growers, thus counteracting the downward trend observed since 2016."

The number of POs remained the same as in 2020 (13). Information provided by the IFAP shows that the number of contracts concluded by individual growers – i.e. who are not members of a PO – amounted to only 11, accounting for a surface area of 725 hectares. The CAP document states that "the figures show a slight increase in the concentration of production for POs, due to the entry of more growers into this type of structure in 2021." For 2022, "the cultivation of tomatoes for processing will be confronted with major difficulties, which transversally involve the whole agricultural sector and are the consequence of a significant increase in production costs." The CAP states that "due to the already very high average yields observed in Portugal, it will be difficult to improve productivity to a level that can compensate for the current increase in costs."
Regarding the commercial context, the report explains that "more than 95% of the Portuguese production of tomato paste is exported" and that "the quantities of tomato paste still available in stocks and not sold globally are nil or, if they exist, are merely residual."

The January 2022 "Fruit and Vegetables" newsletter is available here.

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