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  • Spain: Chestnut harvest up 15% this year

    Oct 14th, 2015

    Spain's chestnut production this year will be about 15% greater than the 37,000 tonnes harvested in 2014, according to estimates supplied to Efeagro by the technical secretary of the National Chestnut Association, Roberto Rubio.Thus, total production could amount to about 42,000 tonnes, although "performance in different production areas across the country will be uneven due to drought," stated Rubio.The acreage devoted to chestnut production will be of around 110,000 hectares, mostly concentrated in Galicia (70,000 hectares harvested in 2014, with a total production of 18,000 tonnes), Castile-Leon (28,000 hectares and 9,000 tonnes last year), Andalusia (9,000 hectares and 5,000 tonnes) and Extremadura (3,000 hectares and 4,500 tonnes in the 2014 campaign).There are other regions, such as Asturias, Cantabria, the Canary Islands, Navarra and the Basque Country, which also have a significant acreage devoted to chestnut trees, although their main goal is not to harvest the fruit, but to produce timber, as in the case of Asturias.

    The harvest season kicked off in September in Andalusia, and right now the campaign, which will last until late November, is in full swing in all producing areas.Roberto Rubio noted that 60% of the domestic production is intended for processing and is primarily marketed as frozen peeled chestnut and marron glacé. The latter "is really appreciated in the gourmet segment and highly demanded in the international market."In its fresh form, the product is sold "in all domestic markets," but it is also exported to destinations like France, Italy and North America (Canada, U.S. and Mexico).Rubio recalled that, especially in the north, the production of chestnuts takes place in "very small holdings" run by "thousands of growers" for whom the revenue generated from the sale of fresh chestnuts in autumn is "an important supplement to their income."

    Source: Efeagro