Sunday, September 19

Agriculture and orchard of the Vega Baja del Segura: A heritage of all

The landscape of the Vega Baja is synonymous with history, both in the interior and in its coastal area.

The landscape of the Vega Baja is synonymous with history, both in the interior and in its coastal area.

The Vega Baja del Segura can boast of having one of the highest quality and most productive orchards in all of Europe. This agricultural region has managed to preserve its cultivation methods and its unique hydraulic heritage for centuries, while continuing to adapt to current demands and challenges: which requires a commitment to sustainability, organic production, local consumption, training and investigation.

The Vega Baja landscape is synonymous with heritage and history, both in the interior and in its coastal area: fruits, vegetables and vegetables of the highest quality give way to an endless number of smells, textures and colors. The intense white smell of orange blossom naranjos, the greens of the artichoke and the broccoli that color the fields, the sector of the flower shop in Pilar de la Horadada, the vineyards of water and salt de la Mata in Torrevieja … Without a doubt, agriculture is one of the fundamental axes of a triangle that identifies the region, along with gastronomy and tourism.

Due to its strategic location and its good soil and climate conditions, the Vega Baja del Segura region is, from an agricultural point of view, the most important area of ​​the province of Alicante.

Despite representing 26% of the cultivated hectares of useful agricultural area, 53% of all provincial production is obtained, the main groups of crops being citrus (60.1%), vegetables (20.4%) and fruit trees (9.9%).

Without losing sight of the importance of proximity product, the consumption of native fruits and vegetables (from Km 0) and the impulse to local trade, the protection of the environment is fostering interest in ecological agriculture in the region, whose objective is to obtain quality food, preserving the fertility of the soil, optimally using natural resources, and excluding the use of synthetic chemical products in order to obtain sustainable agricultural development.

The hydraulic culture is present in every corner of the garden.

Hydraulic culture

The Segura river is a backbone element from the Vega Baja region, and thanks to him the most deeply-rooted customs of the peoples that cross his path have been created. The traditional irrigation system constitutes one of the most important legacies of the region and many of the ditches, arrobas, runners and chancers, which still remain, were the result of an elaborate work whose objective was to channel the river water in the best way to all the orchard lands of the region.

There are many natural resources in the Vega Baja del Segura, but there is only one that can help life: hydraulic heritage. The landscape of the region is culturally green. The irrigation systems of the Huerta de la Vega Baja del Segura are the result of a historical structure based on an irrigation network that defines its physical heritage and an agricultural system (agro-diverse in Mediterranean crops) that coexists with it: a hydraulic culture represented by ancient rules of water use.

The region respects the importance of local produce.

A sector with great relevance

The The agri-food sector is key in the region and is essential, not only to supply the population, but as a generator of employment in a situation such as the current health crisis.

Agriculture can perform various functions, such as producing high-quality products, generate wealth and jobs, while contributing to the landscape maintenance of the Vega Baja del Segura, to the conservation of its environment, and avoiding the depopulation of rural areas.

So important is agriculture for the Vega Baja del Segura, that it even has a university headquarters exclusively related to this matter. We talk about the Orihuela Higher Polytechnic School (EPSO) and his AgroTech Science Park, belonging to the UMH. It is the oldest university center in the province of Alicante, where the Food Safety and Quality Research Group is located.

However, the region also offers Vocational training for employment in agriculture offered by the Consortium for the Economic Development of Vega Baja (CONVEGA) in collaboration with other organizations, as well as Agrarian Professional Training in Orihuela and Jacarilla.

Finally, the associationism Agrarian constitutes one of the main instruments for the economic development of the agricultural sectors. In this way, we can find the Artichoke Association of the Vega Baja; the Breva de Albatera Producers Association; the Association of the Ñora de Guardamar; or the Agrifood Cluster from the Vega Baja del Segura.

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