Almonds: Experts say it’s “time to invest in the crop”

The almond industry was under discussion in the Alentejo. The main players of the sector, at an Iberian level, shared their experience and discussed the pressing issues regarding the future of this crop.

Aida Borges, FLF

The Almond Conference of Tecnoagro Iberia took place last March in Évora. A panel of experts, both national and international, discussed the current state of the sector, sharing with the hundreds of participantsknowledge with the aim of helping them in future investment decisions, improving crop management in the field, as well as pointing out technical, commercial, and economic development paths.

The focus of the conference, organised by Agbar, Compo Expert and NaanDanJain, with the support of CONSULAI and Agromillora, was to answer three questions: “Why is there so much interest in almond growing? “Why is our geography so interesting for almonds?” and “Why is this the time to invest inthe crop?”.

The conference was organised in thematic blocks, with several networking moments between them, so that those present could exchange impressions and establish contacts with a view to future business opportunities.

The organisation highlighted that “in the last five years, in the Iberian Peninsula, there have been many investments in almond growing, which have consolidated the importance of this geography in the world scenario”.

Technological innovation in the spotlight

Regarding the topics discussed, the first block focused on “Technology” . A panel of renowned technicians addressed several issues related to production models, land preparation techniques, varieties, crop management and productivity. “The modernisation of the crop has allowed for significant changes in cultural practices and productive results”, was emphasised.

Next, the discussion centred on”Innovation”, highlighting that “technological evolution in the crop has been constant and has led to enormous gains in efficiency and profitability”.

In the third section, “Market” was discussed, and the specialists stressed that “the growth in almond consumption in the world has been impressive. Almonds are a product with enormous nutritional qualities and associated to a balanced and healthy diet. There are new consumers every day. There are new industrial uses for almonds. There are many new opportunities that are worth getting to know”.

Finally, a panel discussed the topic of “Investment”, stressing that “in the last 5 years there has been a very significant change in investment in almonds in the Iberian Peninsula. The intensity of investment has grown exponentially. New investors and new partnership models have appeared, but we are still at the beginning of this process”.

Issues related to investment financing and the expectations of the next multi-annual financial framework were also addressed.

The meeting ended with a visit to the fields, during which participants could see in loco the different production models.

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