THE SPANISH STRAWBERRY INDUSTRY
The strawberry area dedicated to the crop has grown from 3 700 ha in 1970 to 5 800 ha in 1980 and to 8 700 ha in 1985.
Production has also increased correspondingly from 10 800 t to 98 000 t to 164 000 t.
All the crop is cultivated on raised mulched beds and a significant proportion of it ( 61% ) is cultivated under plastic materials ( low and tall tunnels ).
Exports have increased from 138 t in 1970 to 9 490 t in 1980 and to 71 910 t 1986.
The most important growing areas are in the Southwest ( Huelva ) and on the mediterranean coastline ( mainly in Valencia area ).
About 17% of the strawberry production is processed.
The more popular cultivars at the moment are Douglas, Chandler and Pajaro.
In the Huelva area the planting occurs in the autumn whereas in the Valencia area in the summer with cold stored runners.
The employement of techniques like mulching, soil deisinfection and drip irrigation, during cultivation, precooling and cold storage, in fruit postharvest management, are used extensively.
There are three Research Centres working on different aspects of strawberry cultivation: IRTA ( Cabrils, Barcelona ), IVIA ( Moncada, Valencia ) and ETSIA ( Universidad Politécnica, Valencia ).
They are studying different aspects like micropropagation, plant breeding, different techniques of cultivation, etc., in an effort to improve earliness, productivity and fruit quality.