BETWEEN 60 and 70 percent of the orchards and cultivated land in Soller are lying abandoned and between 10 and 20 percent is deteriorating rapidly said Jaume Orell, President of Soller's Agricultural Cooperative yesterday. He quoted as an example the fact that 40 years ago the municipality of Soller was producing 3'000 tonnes of citrus fruits per season but nowadays only 1'000 tonnes are collected. His colleague, Joan Moll, who is head of a fruit growing co-operative Fruta Bona, said that the lemons grown on Majorca only represent between 15 and 20 percent of the amount consumed. The remaining 75 to 80 percent are imported from the mainland where the excess production has meant the fruit is being sold very cheaply. It is not worth the while of Majorcan farmers to grow, pick and sell them, said Moll. He furthered that over the past five years alone, lemon production on the island has plummeted by 40 percent. To compete with the imports, we'd have to lower our prices significantly which would eat right into our profit margin. It's just not worth our while, explained Moll. The price paid to growers on Majorca fluctuates but is generally around 20 cents a kilo.
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