Rural communities adapt their crops to the pressure of climate inflation

Increasingly frequent and prolonged heat waves and tropical nights Where this has not happened before, farmers have been at the mercy of climate change for several years. Millionaires lose and I see how production cost (fuel, electricity, fertilizer) rise does not stop. Additionally, recent high temperatures, combined with increasingly severe droughts, storms and hailstorms, have devastated entire crops. “All predictions indicate that by 2030, water availability in the Mediterranean basin will decrease by 20% and agriculture will continue producing food the same quality and the same quantity as now… If we do not take urgent measures, we will not arrive,” warns Robert Savé, retired researcher at the Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA).Generalitat.

All forecasts show that water availability in the Mediterranean basin will decrease by 20% by 2030


Seeing how all this was reflected in the prices paid by the final consumer, the rural sector had to react. It did this initially by expanding the allocated surface area. ecological productionsAs a result, savings are achieved in the fertilizer and chemical processes required by this application. And that’s what he did develop new crops or saving old varieties that are no longer used and are better adapted to new climatic conditions. In this case, the most innovative example is tutti apple, A two-colored fruit resistant to extreme heat, created by IRTA researchers in collaboration with producers and companies in the sector.

“We had already been working on new projects for several decades. apple and pear varieties“Because we observed that they had problems with high temperatures,” explains Luis Asín, head of the IRTA Fruit Breeding program in Lleida. crop behaviorThe research institute has launched a long-term program to obtain better-performing varieties. intense heat waves In recent years, “it has been causing damage to the skin of fruits and cessation of productivity in trees, among other problems,” says Asín.

Tutti apple is a variety adapted to high temperatures. NEWSPAPER

“So we are trying to produce the product by working in partnership with a New Zealand company called Plant & Food Research, which has advised us along the way. Fruits are more adaptable to the new climate“continues the agronomist. Tutti also adapts to the apple” flavor and texture trends Joan Bonany, manager of the program that developed the new variety, says that around 50 hectares of land have now been allocated in Lleida and Girona. “We have already achieved a first harvest of 100,000 kilos. It is a small figure to be competitive in the market, but this already allows us to confirm this made it possible. Tutti supports 40 degrees well for a few days,” says Bonany.

Organic farming

However, as researchers continued to compare crop varieties in laboratories and test fields, many farmers decided to switch to organic production as a measure to adapt to the new climate situation. And incidentally to reduce production costs. “An example of this trend is the search for farms as well as vineyards. higher than sea level“We have been betting on biological systems to combat pests for several years,” says Robert Savé, IRTA’s former viticulture coordinator. Savé admits it’s true in the case of wine and cavaConsumer demand for organic crops has been an important factor.

But also organic peanuts triggered. Although it is still a minority production, the number of lands devoted to this nut has increased by 1,057.6% since 2011, reaching 49,534 hectares. Another product where ‘organic’ production is also gaining ground is oil, which has been marked by three seasons of drought, leading farmers to try to save on production costs by reducing treatments. But the measure has so far had no impact on the final prices of the product, which have increased by almost 75% this year.

Area allocated throughout 2022 Organic production in Spain It reached 2,675,331 hectares with an increase of 1.5%. According to Ministry of Agriculture data, this corresponds to 11% of the country’s useful agricultural area. In this way, Spain is included among the top 10 manufacturers By region, both in the EU and around the world. “Spain is a key actor to realize the agricultural dimension of the problem.” European Green Deal Minister Luis Planas emphasized at a conference held last September, “In particular, to achieve the goal of allocating 25% of the agricultural area to organic production by 2030.”

Source: Informacion


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