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Concern for the impact of climate change on the cultivation of the Mallorcan cherry

The Association of Ecological Agricultural Production of Mallorca (APAEMA) and the Association of Local Varieties warn of the decline of the Mallorcan ciuró due to the effects of climate change. It is an old variety that until a decade ago still gave good yields in extensive, and that was a local product in demand for both animal and human food.

This crop has particularities that now, due to climate change, have caused it to go into recession. With a short cycle, it used to be sown in the first week of February, leaving the frosts behind. The rains of March and April made it grow and it was harvested at the end of July, with the plant dry. The rainfall and temperature regime has changed and the farmers who grow it have a series of years of very bad harvests which have caused, in numerous cases, that it cannot be harvested or that even the seed is not obtained sown

So much so that there is less and less land devoted to this crop. If we focus on organic farms, in just five years, the number of producers growing organic Majorcan ciurón has fallen by 33%, and the area has decreased by 43%. For the current 22/23 campaign, 18 organic farmers have dedicated around 34 ha, and the
the result has been that only 7 of them have seed to sell or simply to re-sow.

The risk of erosion of this variety is bad news in the current context, where vegetable protein is essential to move towards a diet with a decrease in meat consumption. In fact, the demand for pulses had increased in recent years, due to this change in trend to be more aware of the consequences of what we eat. Furthermore, when a local variety is lost, cultivated biodiversity is lost, and farmers and consumers are relegated to having to depend on seeds from commercial varieties, thus homogenizing the products available on the market and diminishing food sovereignty.

The Majorcan ciurón is a sufficiently important crop for its virtues: a first-class human food, good fodder for the herd and its cultivation left the land more fertile. It was sown in all the municipalities of the island, and within the estate the best sowing areas were allocated to it. The Mallorcan variety was the most widespread; a small, cylindrical, light-colored and good dough.

APAEMA and the Association of Local Varieties want to convey the concern for the negative trend of the ciuró, which may mean, in a few years, its disappearance. For this reason, the two associations gathered the organic producers of Majorcan ciurón a few months ago to discuss the situation and try to find solutions. Among these
they proposed to select the most suitable ecotypes in the face of the new climate scenario and advance the planting season (with the grass problems that would imply), as well as jointly acquire a precision seed drill, which would allow for careful work and more margin in the sowing calendar.

August 14, 2023

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