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Success in hop cultivation trials for beer brewing enables large-scale production to begin in Caravaca (28/07/2020)

| As an innovative alternative to Northwest agriculture | The Mayor of Caravaca de la Cruz, José Francisco García, and the Minister of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and the Environment, Antonio Luengo, and the General Director of Estrella Levante, Pedro Marín, have visited the Center for Agricultural Demonstration 'Las Nogueras' to check the success of the experimental plantations"The diversification of crops and the search for new alternatives are fundamental elements for the future and rural development and the settlement of the population," stressed the mayor during the visit.The project, promoted by the company Estrella Levante, in collaboration with the Autonomous Community, hopes to reach 50 hectares in 2025Several farmers from the Northwest have joined this project with their farms and the number is expected to increase soon, promoting the cultivation, handling and transformation of hops.The Mayor of Caravaca de la Cruz, José Francisco García, and the Minister for Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and the Environment, Antonio Luengo, have visited the 'Las Nogueras' Agricultural Demonstration Center, based in the district of Los Prados , to check the success of the experimental hop culture trials started in 2018 in this area.The favorable evolution of crops in this phase allows large-scale production to begin as an innovative and profitable alternative for the Northwest agricultural sector.During the visit, which was also attended by the general director of Estrella Levante, Pedro Marín, and the councilors for Agriculture and the Environment, José Antonio Sánchez and Ana Belén Martínez, it was verified how the initiative has allowed, for two years, Knowing the development of the crop in this area, as well as analyzing the analytical results, which has allowed verifying that the values ??are optimal for the start of large-scale production of this plant with which, later, the beer is brewed.

A project carried out in collaboration with the company Estrella Levante and which has already allowed the cultivation of 5 hectares of hops during 2020, with the aim of reaching 50 hectares by 2025."News like this is encouraging for the rural environment, and it is important to highlight the commitment that the Regional Government is making for research applied to agricultural activity, backed in this case by a large company such as Estrella Levante.

We think that experimental crops that are being carried with species or varieties different from the traditional ones, generate new opportunities for the future of our agriculture, establishing population and generating job opportunities in our districts ", José Francisco García highlighted.For his part, the councilor has declared that "from the Community we are firmly committed to crop diversification, which will promote rural development in areas such as the Northwest Region, favoring economic and social growth, taking root to the territory and improvement of innovation and technification of the agricultural sector ".As an example of the work carried out by the Community in recent years, he highlighted "the construction of a structure that has allowed the cultivation of hops in height, 6 meters above the ground, favoring the good results obtained in the experimental phase, thanks to its adaptation to the climate and conditions of the area.

"During the visit he also explained that "there are already three farmers from the Northwest who have joined this project with their farms and we hope that the number will increase soon, benefiting the municipalities of Caravaca de la Cruz and Moratalla and promoting cultivation, handling and hop transformation.

"Agrarian Demonstration CenterThe 'Las Nogueras' Agricultural Demonstration Center in Caravaca de la Cruz has a total extension of 15,640 m², of which 12 hectares are actually cultivable.

The farm is divided into different plots and has the necessary infrastructure to carry out the transfer tests.Its objectives include the importance of experimentation, the adoption of new technologies, practical training and technology transfer aimed at achieving agricultural production based on market demand.

All this within the framework of actions financed under Measure 1 "Transfer of knowledge and information activities", of the Rural Development Program 2014-2020 of the Region of Murcia, co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia.Among the experimental crops and the development of new varieties, the late-flowering almond, pistachio, peach, apricot, cherry, kiwi or black truffle stand out.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Caravaca de la Cruz

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