Rallo L.

The olive growing in Spain and its genetic improvement

Rivista : Anno 42/Numero 1
Autori/Authors : Rallo L.

The olive area in Spain reached 2, 35 million ha by 1965, decreased afterwards down to 2, 1 million ha by 1985-86 and then increased steadily up to date. The recent expansion of olive plantations was promoted by the entrance of Spain in the EU in 1986 and by the continuous expansion of the olive oil and table olives market in the World. Now there is more than 2, 4 million ha which represents the 28% if the Total World Area. This recent expansion has been associated with an intensification of the orchards. New orchards and training systems more adapted to mechanical harvesting have been established. A steady increase in drip irrigation occur in traditional and in new plantations doubling the production of olive oil and table olives in the last fifteen years. Relevant innovations in the processing systems of olive oil and table olives have also occurred. We are finally attending to a dramatic change in the cultivars planted in the new orchards which has been associated to the boom of the nursery industry and to the expansion of new intensive orchards. This lecture summarises the recent changes of the olive industry in Spain with particular reference to the studies on genetic resources and the olive breeding programs in progress.

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