El Algarrobo tiende a desaparecer del Campo de Cartagena

El Algarrobo tiende a desaparecer del Campo de Cartagena

Noticia de LaOpinióndeMurcia.es del día 30/05/2016, la noticia firmada como “A. G. B.” decía: “Alertan de que el algarrobo va camino de desaparecer del Campo de Cartagena”. Piden que se tomen medidas para cambiar esta tendencia. Muchos agricultores de la zona lo sustituyen por almendros o cultivos de regadío. Los troceadores de garrofa buscan mejorar la especie genéticamente para que su cultivo sea rentable.

El algarrobo es uno de los árboles más autóctonos de la comarca. Durante años ha servido como sustento para el ganado del Campo de Cartagena pero hoy día, como apuntan desde la Asociación de Naturalistas del Sureste (ANSE), anda camino de la desaparición. El motivo, indican, radica en que quienes poseen tierras han preferido arrancar sus árboles para sustituirlos por la rentabilidad de la agricultura intensiva. Explican que donde había algarrobos, ahora hay almendros o campos de lechugas.

El profesor de la Escuela de Agrónomos de la universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (UPCT), Juan José Martínez, afirma que la decadencia de esta especie, Ceratonia Siliqua, comenzó hace varias décadas y cada vez se ven menos árboles por la zona. El experto destaca que el algarrobo es uno de las especies que mejor se adapta a la sequía del Sureste y subraya que es un gran 'motor' en la lucha contra el cambio climático dada su gran capacidad de absorción de CO2. El docente Martínez cree que la especie podría llegar a desaparecer del Campo de Cartagena en los próximos años si no se empieza a hacer algo para recuperarla. «Casi nadie planta estos árboles hoy en día. Y, encima, se ponen especies invasoras. Es una lástima porque es un árbol de aquí, que tiene mantenimiento cero y es muy atractivo desde el punto de vista ornamental», recalca el profesor de la UPCT.

Pero, ¿qué se puede hacer para salvar el algarrobo?

«La solución pasa por dar a conocer su fruto, la garrofa, y potenciar el consumo de alimentos que lo lleven en su receta», propone Martínez, quien señala que de la garrofa se puede hacer cerveza, harina para repostería y hasta chocolate. «En Australia hay grandes plantaciones de algarrobo y los médicos recomiendan a las madres que den a sus hijos chocolate de garrofa como sustitutivo del cacao, ya que el de garrofa no tiene los estimulantes de la tableta convencional», apunta el docente. Además, añade que la garrofa tiene propiedades minerales de todo tipo, azúcares de lenta liberación e, incluso, antioxidantes más fuertes que el propio té.

Gran caída de la producción.

Para dar a conocer todas las bondades del fruto del algarrobo, la asociación de Empresas Innovadoras de la Garrofa (EIG), en colaboración con la UPCT, la Entidad de Custodia del Territorio para la Conservación del Garbancillo de Tallante (Ecuga) y la concejalía de Agricultura han organizado unas jornadas en la ciudad portuaria para el próximo día 16 de junio bajo el título 'Fomento y mejora del cultivo del Algarrobo'. José María Martínez es uno de los pocos empresarios que se dedica a la molienda de la garrofa. Su troceadero, denominado como el fundador, su padre, Gregorio Martínez Fortún S. L. está ubicado en el polígono industrial de La Palma.

Martínez asegura que la producción de la Región ha pasado de 40.000 toneladas de garrofa a mitad del siglo XX a 4.000. «El 90% de la garrofa de la Región procede del Campo de Cartagena», señala. «Ya no hay casi ninguna finca con algarrobos, pero queremos utilizar las jornadas para concienciar a los agricultores de que el cultivo de este árbol es rentable y puede ser una alternativa a los limoneros o los almendros», indica. También comenta que el árbol, de una sola cosecha al año, no necesita riego ni fumigaciones, ni siquiera podas.

El kilo, a 30 céntimos.

El precio de la garrofa depende de la cantidad y calidad de su semilla. «Estamos en un año bueno y se llegan a pagar hasta 30 céntimos por kilo», asevera Martínez. Pese a ello, sostiene que «la calidad de la cosecha es mala porque los algarrobos no están cuidados». No obstante, afirma que «la garrofa siempre tiene salida porque hay escasez de producto». El empresario trabaja junto a otros troceadores españoles para obtener genéticamente la variedad de algarrobo más productiva. Es decir, con más cantidad de semilla. «Lo que se paga aquí es la semilla de la garrofa. De ella se obtiene un aglutinante que emplea la industria agroalimentaria para que los helados mantengan su textura y tarden más en descongelarse», concluye.

Para leer la noticia original, clica aquí.

Fuente de LaOpinióndeMurcia.es, fotografía portada de LaOpinióndeMurcia.es, fotografía algarrobas de Caroube.net.

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