Belgium leads EU in pear production with 19% surge

Belgium has become the leading producer of pears in the European Union. This year's production is estimated at 412 million kilograms, an increase of 19 per cent, bucking the European trend of a declining pear crop.

Belgium's pear crop this year contrasts sharply with an exceptionally low European yield of 1.7 million tonnes, down 13 per cent. In particular, former leader Italy is struggling with a dramatically poor crop, Luc Vanoirbeek of the Belgian Federation of Horticultural Cooperatives (VBT) told Belga.

Climate change

According to Vanoirbeek, this is mainly due to climate change. "Italy, for example, has experienced floods after extreme drought. The country used to produce 1 million tonnes, but this year it is only 182 million kilograms - less than a fifth."

On the apple front, however, disappointing results have been reported for Belgium. Production there is estimated at 203 million kilos, almost 15 per cent less than last year. At the European level, there is a drop of around 3 per cent to 11.7 million tonnes.

"Since the 2018-2019 season, the area under apple cultivation has decreased by 1,089 hectares to 4,896 hectares," the VBT said. "It is mainly the varieties Jonagold (-620 ha) and Jonagored (-569 ha) that have disappeared." At the same time, however, there has been a sharp increase (+40 per cent) in other, non-traditional apple varieties.



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