The rural environment Galician loses a year close to one hundred million euros for all the chestnut that each year is left uncollected in the field; a fruit that falls from the trees, and either rots or serves as food for the cows. The average annual yield per hectare of chestnuts is in the three thousand kilograms. And in Galician rural areas, especially in the mountains of Lugo Y Ourense, there are some 30,000 hectares. That is, the productive potential is around 90 million kilograms, according to the data handled by the Galician Administration. And every year, on the other hand, some 20 are collected. There remain 70 million in limbo, which at a price of between 1.3 and 1.5 euros, gives a figure that ranges between 91 and 105 million euros at ao of rents that are lost for the inhabitants of the rural environment.
We are facing a problem that is very difficult to evaluate, to quantify, especially since there are areas of high mountain, where there are soutos of difficult access, but it is evident that there is a huge infratulized productive potential and a lot of work to do, says Jess Quint, businessman and president of the Xeografca Protexida (IXP) Castaa de Galicia. It is precisely this fact that has led to Rural environment to place the sector of the chestnut in a preferential place among its priorities, as one of the activities called to generate rents and to fix the population in the countryside. The objective is to produce 30,000 hectares, of which 25,000 hectares are traditional soutos, and do it based on the plan already underway in Folgoso do Courel, where is 10% of all the surface of soutos of Galicia, and that has become the laboratory of Galicia to see how to take better advantage of the surface of abandoned chestnut.
Companies also focus on new plantationsGalicia has already started the Table of Castaa, an organ that brings together the Administration and the operators, which was set up last April, and which seeks to agree on a strategy to enhance its value. The companies of the sector support the recovery of soutos, but consider that the focus should also be on the new plantations. I think it's great that from an environmental point of view, the recovery of heritage, bet on the soutos, but what we are analyzing is production, public money is better invested in the new plantations and contain the plague of the wasp, guess Miguel Aren, manager of Castaas Naicia, in Chantada (Lugo), one of the main producing areas, together with O Courel, Quiroga, the Ribeira Sacra or Valdeorras.
Beware of the genetic material!
This strategy of new productions also leads to problems. Basically, because there is a risk that genetic material will be purchased for planting that is not indigenous, as is already the case with olives, where variety is planted arbequina, that is not Galician. The idea is to follow in the wake of what happens already in the vitivnicola sector, in which there is much greater assurance that what is purchased is an indigenous variety of grapes.
In Galicia, about 10,000 people gather every yearThe Galician community now faces the challenge of advancing in the professionalization of crops. In this autonomy, the number of farms that work at source with business criteria has increased. The calculations of the sector point out that each hectare of chestnut production, at good yield, can give between five thousand and six thousand euros a year of profit. That is, the distance between the trees must be greater than if the exploitation were destined to produce wood, and not more than a hundred trees are recommended for every ten thousand square meters. In Galicia, each year, they collect about ten thousand people, at a price that varies, depending on the quality, between 1.3 and 2 euros. In the whole of the value chain, to the origin link, it is necessary to add about 30 marketers and four industries.
. (tagsToTranslate) Agriculture (t) Rural environment