The drought of the last year and the predictions of lack of sufficient water have caused the reduction of open field vegetable growing areas in Murcia and, to a lesser extent, in certain areas of Alicante. This acreage decrease is more than 6,000 hectares.
As reported by Murcia growers' association Proexport, producers have moved some growing areas to other zones of Spain, mainly to Extremadura, Sevilla, Albacete and the Delta del Ebro. The organization regrets this forced relocation by the lack of response to the problem of water which goes beyond a conjunctural situation.
The major relocation corresponds to the Region of Murcia, affecting mainly lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower crops. Murcia companies which opt for this transfer are farms with strong economies of scale needing to maintain their production levels to meet their contracts with the retail, although their benefit is minimal by increasing logistic costs.
For Juan Marín, member of Proexport, the current relocation of some crops "is only a forced way out due to the lack of water, something without a future, simply because of the climate risks also present in some other areas of Spain".