Too many wild boars eat melon crops in Valencia

by Lorraine Williamson
wild boar eat melon crops

VALENCIA – Farmers in the Valencia region are concerned about the overpopulation of wild boars. The animals wreak havoc on watermelon and melon crops. That is why farmers’ associations ask for help from the government. 

The Association of Valencian Farmers (Ava-Asaja) argues that this “plague” destroys fields, damages irrigation systems and causes significant economic losses. Watermelons and melons are a real delicacy for wild boars because of their high water content. These crops are therefore the hardest hit. Production has now halved from the expected 15 million kilos to just 7 million kilos. 

Consequently, the following scarcity of products leads to significant price increases. The cost price for the farmers has risen from €0.10 per kilo to €1.00. The association of farmers in Valencia Ava-Asaja indicates that the total losses due to damage from fauna, including wild boars, rabbits and vultures, are already estimated at more than €40 million. 

Measures needed against overpopulation 

Therefore, the association calls on government agencies to take joint measures to reduce wildlife overpopulation and create a balance between environmental protection and human activities. The farmers like to see positive measures that are fast, effective and do not harm anyone. However, they are thinking of allowing wild boar hunting. 

Also read: Wild boar surprises beachgoers on the Costa del Sol 

Cogesa Expats

Carles Peris, the general secretary of the union La Unió, also points to the worrying situation in which the people of Valencia find themselves. He indicates that the damage from wild boars coincides with the start of the melon season. “We were about to start harvesting and in the night they ate everything. We already had shortages, so the losses are even greater,” he regrets. 

Risk to population 

Peris adds that the plague is not only affecting farmers: “They are increasingly struggling to find food in the forests, which is why they are moving to urban areas. This can lead to “serious accidents” among the inhabitants. 

The organisations appeal to the governments. They believe that authorities are responsible for compensating for the economic impact of both the damage already done and the process of “pest control”. If the government does not act, they demand a compensation consortium for farmers, so that the losses can be at least partially compensated. 

Also read: A wild boar attached and injured a 79-year-old woman in Spain 

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