Drought Crisis Threatens Avocado and Mango Farms in Axarquía

Relentless drought poses a grave challenge. Image: Shutterstock/ Fotangel

NINE out of ten avocado and mango farms are facing losses due to severe drought conditions. The production has plummeted by a staggering 80 per cent, significantly impacting the livelihoods of farmers.

Farmers Struggle

Numerous other farmers are witnessing devastating effects. Their mango production has decreased from 300,000 to 70,000 kilos due to the drought. Avocados, which are about to enter their season, fare even worse—scarce, undersized, and hanging from trees with nearly withered leaves. This situation is unprecedented for them.

Water Crisis

The water scarcity issue has become the focal point of discussions in streets and bars, fostering pessimism and despair among the community. Short-term implications include water restrictions affecting most of the 230,000 inhabitants, while the long-term effects forecast a significant social problem impacting the economy and employment.

The agriculture in Axarquía is the backbone of the region, where tourism remains predominantly seasonal. This area accounts for 90 per cent of the national mango production and 70 per cent of avocados, mainly exported to Europe.

Socioeconomic Challenges: Addressing the Water Shortage

There used to be ample water for irrigation and consumption, but now the forecasted rain never arrives. The Andalucian government, with regional reservoirs at a mere 19 per cent capacity, is requesting water from the Alqueva dam in Portugal, which currently holds more water than all of Andalucía‘s reservoirs combined.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!