Deputy area of environment and the region, Miguel Esteban Martin, launched the annual project for promotion of organic agriculture yesterday morning at a press conference for in the province Málaga. Within this plan are measures such as conducting a thorough study on the state of organic agriculture in Malaga, advertising campaigns, promoting the use of food in schools, homes hospitals.., conducting workshops and information days, the creation of a provincial table on organic agriculture, among many others, so facilitating organic food to the role they deserve.
Malaga is the penultimate Andalusian province in organic agriculture despite being the most important, therefore, the Provincial Council of Malaga gives new impetus to the organic agriculture industry. Malaga position as possibly the first in the ranking of importing organic food products is due no doubt to the great demand for the group of foreign residents living in Costa del Sol, explained Martin.
Still, Malaga is in the queue in production, with only 33,233 hectares for this type of crop. According to a study by the Department of Environment of the agency, these numbers are odd when compared to the 537,000 hectares that are cultivated at the Andalusian or 90,000 are recorded throughout Spain. And, considering that in Malaga are three of the top five importers of organic products is in Andalusia.
For the Environment of the County Council is clear that the priority is not to import products that can be produced at home, and yesterday announced a plan for the establishment and improvement of farms valued at 150,000 euros and will throughout the year 2008. "Malaga meets conditions suitable for the development of this type of agriculture, both for its climate as for extensive production systems that are applied to a large number of crops," says the Council.
Among the acts to include, the organization of Organic Products Fair created a table of Organic agriculture, seminars, courses and a prize at the provincial level, and the granting of lines of aid and grants to promote entrepreneurship. Also seek to introduce organic products through local markets and encourage production in the natural parks of the province, either by harvesting wild crops such as olives.
Malaga already has 42 companies (17 packing horticultural products, 8 mills, and 5 bakeries) but that represents only 1.5% of the agricultural sector in the province. Hectares shall be allocated among the 15,000 pasture, range and forage, the harvesting of forest and 11,890 wild, 2,300 of nuts, olive groves of the 1600 or 1015 of cereals and legumes.
However, the sector still faces problems such as excessive dependence on aid, insufficient research on suitable seed varieties, the very lack of farmers and poor marketing channels. In Malaga, for example, is the fact that organically grown olives end up being crushed in conventional mills, losing quality.
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