Ornamental Horticulture at the Mediterranean Seaside of Spain: Present Situation and Future Challenges
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AuthorFernández-Zamudio, María A.; Bartual, Julián; Roca, Dolors; Verdeguer, A.; Martínez, Pedro F.
Cita bibliográficaFernández-Zamudio, M. A., Bartual, J., Roca, D., Verdeguer, A., & Martínez, P. F. (2012). Ornamental horticulture at the mediterranean seaside of Spain: present situation and future challenges. Acta Horticulturae, 937, 51-57.
Cut flowers and pot plants are among the main dynamic, technified and socio-economic activities within the Spanish horticultural industry. Ornamental holdings concentrate along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, because of high solar radiation and mild winter conditions, that promoted greenhouse growing, resulting in high yield and quality products, suitable for satisfying the European market requirements. This work aims at analysing the present situation of the Spanish ornamental industry so as to determine the needed improvement actions in order to assure its continuity. Various statistical sources have been used, referring to both production and marketing. Technical staff and growers have been interviewed and consulted too. The technological evolution of ornamental nurseries can be known in this way. If investment in technology and equipment facilities has been the direct means in the past, for the grower to keep business profits, now adjustments of the greenhouse equipment facilities can be observed. On the other side, a lower use of some inputs is observed too, aiming at reducing costs, which could also contribute to industry sustainability. Finally, a SWOT has been built based on the observations. The main industry challenges for the future can be inferred from it, both for production and for marketing activities. One of the most important goals for the industry could be offering adaptation to a changing market demand, within a strong international competitiveness scenario. The need of actions addressed at improving promotion and appreciation of the products should also be considered. As an example of it, associating Mediterranean ornamental products as more friendly and respectful commodities with our natural environment could be an effective initiative.