Name Case Study Site: CSS1 – Cartagena (ES)
Responsible partner: Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (ES)

Geographical description
The Campo de Cartagena basin is located in the southeast of Spain (Figure 1). It has a semi-arid Mediterranean climate and an average annual precipitation of approximately 300 mm with a mean annual temperature of 19.5°C and annual potential evapotranspiration of 1300 mm. Latitude 37.757103 N, Longitude 1.028193 W. Campo de Cartagena covers 169,450 ha of rain-fed and irrigated crops. The main irrigated area lack of continuous freshwater source and numerous water sources are combined (water transfers from Tajo River Basin, groundwater, reclaimed and desalinated water) to supply an intensive agricultural production of fruits and vegetables with a high economic added value.

LO Spain

Main farming systems
Fruits and vegetables are the main crops grown in the area, being one of Europe's largest out-of-season outdoor vegetable production areas. The main horticultural crops are broccoli, lettuce, melon and artichoke, being one of the main broccoli production areas in Spain. Most of the farms are equipped with drip irrigation technology. Integrate production system are followed by all farms, combined with organic production systems.

It is not considered as an area of cattle tradition, due to the conditions of the area do not favours pasture development. The sheep sector, mainly in stables, is developed in large industrial farms that take advantage of stubble or remains of intensive agriculture. Ranchers usually have an activity exclusively dedicated to livestock and live in towns of cities not located in the farms. The same goes for farmers.

FS Spain1  FS Spain2 

Ongoing research and innovation actions
The regional government has been promoting an integrated production system for years, which has its own quality label. Also, organic farming has been supported withing the rural development programs and, currently, innovative programs in the agricultural sector aimed to improve farms profitability and sustainability in the climate context are encouraged.

Relevant stakeholders in the area

  • CAERM- Consejo Regulador de Agricultura Ecológica de la Región de Murcia
  • Regional farming Cooperatives