Analysis of economic sustainability of tomato greenhouses in Almería (Spain)

F.D. Molina-Aiz, D.L. Valera, A. López, R. Bouharroud, H. Fatnassi
During the past 40 years, the region of Almería (Spain) has become one of the main world's producer of fruits and vegetables in greenhouses, with a surface area that has at stabilized at approximately around 30,000 ha over the last decade. The development of greenhouses has enabled considerable socio-economic progress of the region. However, in recent years, land use and crop productivity are reaching their limits. At the same time, producers are faced with an increase in greenhouse production costs and a decrease in the tomato price. These trends affect the long-term viability of commercial greenhouse tomato production in Almería, as is the case in other regions of the world. Within this economic environment, the present study aims to estimate investment requirements, the annual costs of production and the value of tomato yield. During the 2015/2016 crop season, an economic analysis was carried out on ten greenhouses. Depending on the cultivar of tomato cultivated and the crop management system, the cost of labor ranged from 19,300 to 46,583 € ha‑1 i.e., 46% of overall production cost. The input cost (water, energy, fertilizer, seedlings, pesticides and auxiliary insects) ranged from 5,200 to 10,900 € ha‑1 (14% of overall production cost). The total variable costs ranged between 41,840 and 77,240 € ha‑1, while fixed costs were 4,170-18,450 € ha‑1. The construction cost of Almería-type greenhouses was 7-10 € m‑2, increasing to 12.5 € m‑2 for multi-span structures, with a total investment requirement of 156,500-355,150 € ha‑1. Annual tomato yields were 7.1-16.0 kg m‑2, with prices of 0.46-1.10 € kg‑1, providing annual gross incomes of 62,400-100,000 € ha‑1. Taking into account the depreciation costs, most of growers surveyed obtained a negative profit of 0.1-0.2 € kg‑1. These results show the urgent need to adopt appropriate measures to guarantee success and economic profitability to farmers, in order to maintain the viability of greenhouse tomato production in southern Spain.
Molina-Aiz, F.D., Valera, D.L., López, A., Bouharroud, R. and Fatnassi, H. (2020). Analysis of economic sustainability of tomato greenhouses in Almería (Spain). Acta Hortic. 1296, 1169-1177
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1296.148
economic viability, production costs, profit, yield, horticulture

Acta Horticulturae