GAMBÍN, aligned with the sector on climate change resilience
The Lemon and Grapefruit Interprofessional Association (ALIMPO) technicians, Antonio Hernández and Raúl Alcázar, have recently drawn up a report to answer the main questions about the sources of water supply in the Segura Basin and the optimisation strategies that are being developed in lemon growing.
This document serves as a response to the request from producers, commercial operators and industry on the origin, use and management of water in the production of this citrus fruit. The document arises from the significant concern over the scarcity of hydric resources in the Segura Basin.
This is something of vital importance for GAMBÍN, given that all of our citrus farms are located in the Vega Baja del Segura, an area that presents the main problems in terms of "hydric resources for agricultural use".
Our plantation area is a national and international benchmark in terms of lemon growing, where the scarcity and quality of water has led us to make significant efforts in recent years to optimize and reduce water consumption.
The report provides detailed information on the different sources of water supply, their historical evolution and future forecasts. In addition, it describes the strategy of optimization and efficient use of water in lemon cultivation through localized irrigation, modernization of irrigation, and innovations for the reduction of water consumption such as controlled deficit irrigation, the use of soil moisture monitoring tools, and the installation of plastic mulch on the soil or covers for irrigation ponds.
It also highlights the FAO's (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) advice on the need to undertake improvements in water management and agricultural practices to reduce the risks of water scarcity and improve crop yields. This will allow the optimization of water resources in an area that depends on irregular rainfall, water transfers, drainage, desalination plants and treated wastewater.
According to the report, the lemon sector has made significant efforts in recent years to optimize and reduce water consumption. The increase in the area under localized irrigation in lemons has been of 268% in the last 30 years. These advances in irrigation and fertilization have managed to increase the productivity of the lemon crop by 274%. Today, 1 kg of lemon is produced using 63% less water than in 1988.
At GAMBÍN we are fully committed to the protection and management of hydric resources. To do this, we follow different master lines. On the one hand, we rely on data from agro-climatic studies of the area, which helps us to know the evotranspiration of the crop. We apply soil analysis techniques with physical-chemical characteristics and modernize irrigation systems, using precision irrigation.
As the report concludes, the sector is prepared for a scenario of decreasing precipitation as a consequence of climate change. And at GAMBÍN we are proud to contribute to this on a daily basis, not only to guarantee the supply of citrus fruits to the markets, but also to practice responsible agriculture for the benefit and sustainability of our ecosystem, something that is also corroborated by the different quality certifications and efficient practices that we have.