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Agriculture, greenhouses drive the EU’s food autonomy

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Agriculture, greenhouses drive the EU’s food autonomy

Greenhouse farming drives the European food sector: Spain and Italy in the lead

“Se Europe southern Italy was a single country, it would be the world‘s leading exporter of aubergines and the second for products such as cucumbers and peppers“, according to Juan Carlos Pérez Mesa, professor at the University of Almería. As reported by Italiafruit, there is much more behind this statement. Pérez Mesa is telling us that solar-powered greenhouses play a fundamental role in ensuring that the ‘Europe has enough food.

Globally, the total surface area of ​​the greenhouses is estimated at 500,000 hectaresre; in Europe, Spain and Italy are the main players. Mainly in Spain and Italy, greenhouses do much more than supply local supermarkets. They represent an essential part of the global economy.

However, greenhouse farming is considered particularly polluting. But what is often overlooked are the new technologies that are making greenhouses increasingly eco-sustainable. For example, in Spain, of the 32,000 tonnes of plastic generated each year by greenhouses in the provinces of Almería and Granada, around 90% is recycled.

“More than 65% of solar greenhouse production in southern Europe serves to support demand on the continent,” says Pérez Mesa. “In this sense, Spain and Italy can supply the whole of Europe by reducing energy costs and imports from third countries that do not have the same parameters”. And this is a big deal because it means that Europe can rely on itself for many of its fruit and vegetablesreducing dependence on imports from distant countries.

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