Yesterday, the Director General of Agricultural Markets of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fernando Miranda, highlighted the social and economic importance of the garlic sector, as well as the success that this Spanish product is having in international markets.
The Minister highlighted the garlic in his speech at the Second International Garlic Congress, which lasts two days and is being held in La Alberca de Zancara, in Cuenca. In this forum, Miranda pointed out that, even though China was the world's leading producer of garlic, with more than 19 million tons, Spain leads the Community's garlic production with about 180,000 tons, i.e. more than 50% of the European Union's total garlic production.
He also highlighted the position that the sector had achieved in the markets, as Spain is the second largest exporter of garlic in the world and has had a notable increase in exports in recent years, going from exporting 64,000 tons in 2011 to more than 148,000 tons in 2015.
This numbers, he said, demonstrate the importance of Spain in international trade and the good work being carried out by Spanish producers and exporters in the international markets. Garlic is the agricultural product which has had one of the most positive evolutions in recent years.
Miranda also praised the effectiveness of the Garlic Congress, which in its second edition provides a unique opportunity for the professionals from different countries to meet and exchange information about how to address the different stages in the production and marketing of this product, which is fundamental for the sector's competitiveness.
This Congress will discuss important issues, such as crop management and post-harvest conservation, mechanization, and the use of localized irrigation, he said. He congratulated the organizers of the event, as it isn't limited to agronomic issues but has a global vision for the product and includes issues that are very important for the future, such as adapting to climate change; a subject of great interest for the Ministry, as it is developing many initiatives to mitigate climate change and adapt to it.
He also said he believed that the dialogue and exchange of information between the different actors, not only today but in the future, would allow them to improve the operation of the garlic chain.