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Farming and Tourism in Spain

Around the coast Spain there are many fishing villages. The fishermen here travel thousands of kilometres across the sea to catch cod, sardines and tuna.

Fishing Boats Galicia Spain

Inland from the coast are areas of scorched desert scrub land. The heat of the sun has dried up many rivers although this has allowed solar power stations, such as the Plataforma Solar de Almería to be built.

Plataforma Solar de Almeria - PSA

Lots of crops are farmed here, such as: peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelons, 70% of which are exported to other countries. Water is supplied from underwater lakes fed by rain from the mountains.

Plastic sheeting often covers the crops to: increase the temperature, retain water, accelerate growth, control diseases and protect the crops from the wind. However, such intensive activities pose problems - farmers used to burn the old sheeting but that is now illegal and the government has set up plastic recycling plants. Water is a problem as: farmers, local people and coastal hotels want to draw it from the same supplies. There is also some concern that chemicals called pesticides which are sprayed onto the crops are killing the wildlife

Campo Dalías-Zuid Spanje (1)

High up in the mountains, it is cooler than on the plains below so crops like olives and almonds are grown. Farming is done here in the traditional way on terraces cut into the mountain, using animals like donkeys and no chemicals. In recent years, in places such as Felix, most families have moved from their isolated farm houses, called cortijos, and come into the village for the facilities of: water, electricity, schools, doctors and shops.

Each year over 20 million tourists travel to Spain for their holidays, mostly from the UK and Germany. They are attracted by its historic cities and beautiful churches. Many also go just to relax on its sunny beaches, such as: on the Costa Brava, on the Costa del Sol or on the island of Mallorca.  

In the summer months, the population of many resorts can increase ten-fold. Although this creates lots of local jobs and brings in lots of money, pressure is put on local facilities and there can be an increase in environmental issues, such as beach litter.

Levante Beach, Benidorm