Canarian tomato producers plan to grow cannabis for therapeutic purposes
Canarian tomato producers are in the worst crisis in their 130-year history and are considering converting their crops to medicinal cannabis to alleviate the destruction of the 5,000 jobs that depend on the archipelago’s tomato sector.
The production of tomatoes for export on the islands has declined steadily over the past few decades. In the late 1990s, the Canary Islands produced 305,000 tons of tomatoes. In 2020 they produced less than 45,000 tons. In addition, the tomato accounted for 10% of the islands’ GDP in 2010, while it now accounts for less than 3%.
According to Cannabis Magazine, the Canarian tomato growers met with Finance Minister Roman Rodríguez to coordinate an aid plan for the conversion of the 352 hectares of tomatoes that are still left on the islands. It should be noted that in less than 20 years, 3,000 hectares of tomato cultivation have disappeared due to a lack of institutional and political efforts to keep a competitor like Morocco at bay after that country signed an association agreement with the EU in 1996 that made it possible to cut half of that to capture the European winter market.
According to the first meeting between the companies and the government, part of the aid program will be used to compensate workers who cannot be transferred to new jobs.
Treasury sources consulted by Cannabis Magazine pointed out that weather conditions in the Canary Islands would allow the production of cannabis for scientific and medical purposes and research centers.