The greenhouses of Almería, Spain: technological analysis and profitability

D.L. Valera, L.J. Belmonte, F.D. Molina-Aiz, A. López, F. Camacho
For several decades Almería's greenhouses have been the driving force behind the region's socioeconomic and demographic development. Evidence of this is provided by crop yield and profitability, whose importance at the core of the province's economy has increased year by year. In addition, this sector is extremely important as a source of exports. However, the growers' income is following a downward trend as a result of the fall in sales revenue when taking into account inflation. It is therefore of interest for the sector to establish the technological level required to allow each crop to be profitable. The starting point for this approach must be the crop, as the technology has to be adapted to suit each one. The analysis undertaken has covered a total of 685 hectares of greenhouses, which constitutes the broadest study undertaken to date. This exhaustive work outlines the sector's technological evolution over the last sixteen years. It quantifies the yield of the main crops according to the farming district and type of greenhouse employed. It also provides the average profile of the ten farms with the highest gross income in each of Almeria's farming districts. Equally importantly, it determines the average profile of the farms with the highest yield per campaign, according to the combination of crops and cycles employed. One of the conclusions reached is that natural ventilation leads to higher yield than other climate control systems, at minimum cost. Despite its improvement in recent years (14.4% in 2013), the ventilation capacity of the Almería-type greenhouse is still deficient and therefore requires improvement.
Valera, D.L., Belmonte, L.J., Molina-Aiz, F.D., López, A. and Camacho, F. 2017. The greenhouses of Almería, Spain: technological analysis and profitability. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:219-226
climate control, technology, ventilation

Acta Horticulturae