Innovative asparagus production in Portugal
An agricultural company used EAFRD funding to strengthen its production of green asparagus and increase its share of the national and European market.
Compared with other vegetables on the European market, asparagus is a product with a high market value and is much in demand, particularly in Spain, France and Germany. This offers exciting possibilities to Portuguese farmers, who enjoy a competitive advantage since the Portuguese climate allows for early production.
The Villabosque agricultural company used EAFRD funding to support the production and commercialisation of irrigated green asparagus, using advanced techniques for production, processing, conservation and packaging. This investment helped the company to become one of the main producers of high-quality green asparagus in Portugal.
The company has launched its own brand ‘Villabosque - Espargos Verdes do Ribatejo’ on the national market, while a large part of their production is exported to the Spanish market.
The product obtained the GLOBALG.A.P. certification and meets all environmental criteria regarding the use of phytopharmaceutical products, fertilizers, water resources and energy.
The farm reduced its water consumption by around 25 % and its energy consumption by 45 %.
The farmers plant fava beans and peas between the lines of asparagus, which help to fix the nitrogen in the soil and are later used as a natural fertilizer: reducing the use of chemical fertilizers by 30%.