Almeria’s agricultural bubble

The scarcity of land with irrigation concessions and the growing interest of investment funds and international companies in the agribusiness sector have triggered a rise in the price of land in Almería, which faces what can be called an agricultural land bubble. A hectare of land can cost 400,000 or 420,000 euros in farms that do not have particular characteristics to support this price, pointed out Adoracion Blanque, general secretary of the agricultural association ASAJA in Almeria.

“In the last two campaigns we have seen an increase in the value of land for greenhouses that do not respond to the economic reality of the sector, distorting what is known as the Almeria model. It seems that we are going to have a fair distribution of land among many families, which has contributed a lot to the distribution of wealth in Almeria, on the contrary. The trend is changing towards a model of large landowners due to the loss profitability, uncertainty and rising production costs. “

Sales of up to 47 euros per square meter are closed in western Almeria, which is only affordable for large producers who can amortize the value of this new property with the yield of the other hectares they operate. already ; or by companies and investment funds that see long-term economic potential in the primary sector.

Andres Gongora, the general secretary of the agricultural organization COAG in Almeria, confirmed that there are beginning to be speculative movements and investment funds that have a lot to do with this increase in value occurring. “Buying property is already prohibitively expensive, and leases are also increasing.”

The price increases while the available surface is depleted, limited by the water reserves of the province. The producers expect the Ministry of the Environment to clarify the authorizations for irrigation of the new plots as soon as possible, since it represents one of the elements that most distorts the value of the land.

In addition, according to COAG, new competitors are appearing in the call for tenders for these agricultural soils, with the arrival of energy companies interested in installing photovoltaic panels and who are already building macro-orchards of hundreds of hectares. extension.


Amalia H. Mercado