The chestnut harvest in the Valle del Genal in the Serrania de Ronda is expected to be the lowest that most people can remember, down by as much as seventy percent. This is the main chestnut producing area in Málaga province.
The harvest is now beginning and will last about one month, but the producers, many dependent upon the fruit, are not optimistic. It is nature at work and most accept the situation for what it is. Lack of rain and drought are the culprits.
Chestnuts which have ripened on the trees are small, low quality fruits and are likely to be left and, when they do fall, be ploughed back into the soil. Those that have fallen from the trees and have been slowly ripening are of better quality.
Around 4,000 hectares in the Serrania de Ronda are dedicated to chestnut production. A good year in Málaga province yields about 5 million kilos of chestnuts. Last year was poor at 2.5 million kilos, this year even worse.