At the end of December 2016, the fifth edition of the International Forum of Agro-póle Olivier took place in the Moroccan city of Meknès, an international meeting hosted by the organization Agro-póle Olivier ENA Meknès. In the course of the meeting, the participants adopted a series of conclusions that have been consolidated in the Meknès Declaration in favor of the olive grove.
The statement states, according to the information gathered by Olimerca, that “the olive grove must be recognized as a sustainable development vector; Climate change and renewable energy sources for future generations. ” This conclusion is supported by the different interventions throughout the meeting by Spanish, Italian and Greek experts, who showed success cases on the sustainable effect of the olive grove.
Fransisco Serafini, Secretary General of the International Olive Oil Council (IOC), said that the olive grove contributes to the slowing down of desertification and erosion in the areas where it is located and also allows the population to remain in rural areas. The Secretary-General emphasized the need to adopt “appropriate agronomic practices to enable olive trees to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases”, recalling that a number of scientific studies have shown the positive effects of olive growing on Fixation of CO2 from the atmosphere in permanent plant structures and soil.
The Ministry of Agriculture of the Regional Government of Andalusia has paid 29.7 million euros to aid to support the ecological olive grove in Andalusia, a figure that supports farmers who are committed to increasingly sustainable and environmentally friendly production systems .
For the line of conversion and maintenance of organic farming in olive groves, the subsidies paid exceeded 14.1 million euros while the agro-ecological measure for mountain olive groves with ecological orientation adds 2.9 million euros in incentives.
The Regional Government has also earmarked 12.6 million euros for agri-environmental aid for sustainable olive-growing systems, almost half for the province of Granada.
Spain’s oil has surpassed Italy’s oil in most of the world’s destinations, including emerging ones. But Asoliva’s packers are concerned about growing non-tariff barriers in the US, Australia and some Asian countries that could hamper trade.
The director of the Association of the Industry and Exporter of Olive Oil (Asoliva), Rafael Pico, said in an interview with Efeagro that “foreign markets are totally led by Spain”, including the US and Asia, and that the alleged supremacy Of Italy is already “a myth”.
According to Pico, Spain has always been a leader in exports, taking into account the physical exits to other destinations, especially thanks to the component of shipments to Italy, which is the main customer, which absorbs each year between 40 and 45% Of Spanish production.
About the USA, which consumes 50% of the world’s olive oil, it recalls that the positioning of Italian brands was historically very large, but that its leadership “is a thing of the past” because two or three years ago Spain overcame it, as It has also done so in markets such as Japan, India or China. There are only two destinations that resist and in which Italy sells more now: Germany and Canada.
The Departments of Agriculture of the three leading producing areas Valencia, Andalusia and Murcia-have already offered these days his official capacity forecast first campaign for its territory: 3,953,226 tons (+23,6%), 2,059. 883 tons (+10.5%) and 871,000 tons (+25%), respectively.
For Spain, the Citrus Management Committee (CGC) calculates a “normal production” of 7,088,421 tonnes in 2016/17, compared with 7,106,706 tons (+19.2%) planned for Spain by the Minister of Agriculture of Andalusia, Carmen Ortiz, or 6,884,109 tons totaling the first appraisals of the three main producing communities.
Ortiz stressed that the citrus sector is the third in importance of farming in Andalusia, with 12,000 farms and 85,000 hectares and 2016/17 production is 8.2% higher than the average of the last four seasons.
The growing demand for agricultural products, combined with the need to protect the environment is increasingly pressing policy makers EU to finding innovative ways to “produce more with less.”
In addition, the volatility of food prices and agricultural markets has underscored the need to increase EU competitiveness worldwide so that the sector can survive long term. Many key industry players say that the CAP should take advantage of the current “digital revolution”, and introduce new technologies in the sector. The concept of “digital” or “precision” is focusing the debate on the new CAP for the period 2021-2017.
The European Commission considers that the development of precision agriculture will provide EU farmers new opportunities to increase productivity. Farmers and ranchers to adopt these techniques may make greater use of pesticides and fertilizers, and also contribute to the protection of land and aquifers, while will enhance the efficiency of production.
With the use of sensors, farmers can identify specific areas in fields that require special treatment, and thus, can focus on the use of chemicals specifically in the areas most in need, with a positive impact on the environment.
In fact, it is expected to release resources to encourage EU research in this field within the framework of the Alliance for Internet Innovation (AIOTI for its acronym in English). As part of this initiative a pilot-scale project will be financed amounting to 30 million euros.
A report by GEA Iberia reveals that olive oil is already produced in 56 countries on five continents, representing nine more than the 47 countries recorded in the previous study.
Aspects such as geopolitical disintegration of certain nations, climate change or simple adaptation and expansion of olive cultivation to other latitudes, are some of the reasons has revealed the executive vice president of GEA. Among the new producing countries are El Salvador, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Macedonia reports Vilar. He also adds that this is preliminary data from a study of greater dimension and depth that will be released next year.
The addition of nine additional countries to the establishment of olive oil producers merely increase demand prospects through constant expansion of consumption opportunities for familiarity. In this regard, countries like El Salvador or Yemen already have specific days of the year for the celebration of the day of the olive tree, or oil, a fact that confirms its cultural roots.
The report also shows that the total number of hectares planted amounts to 11,316,000, which meant an increase of almost 15% over the past 15 years. By continents, most olive growing area is in Europe (60%), followed by Africa (27%), Asia (10%), America (2%) and Oceania (less than 1%).