JRC: Drought Tightens Grip on the Mediterranean, Impacting Potato Production

The Mediterranean region is no stranger to drought, having battled prolonged dry spells in northern Africa for the past six years and in Europe for over two years.

Now, the specter of a warmer-than-average spring in 2024 is anticipated, as predicted by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) report "Drought in the Mediterranean Region - January 2024".  

The parched landscape is a stark reality, with impacts on water resources reported across coastal regions of the Iberian Peninsula, the Mediterranean islands, and northern Africa. Water use restrictions have already been implemented in some parts of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Furthermore, the snowpack in Italy, an important source of water, sits below historical averages, further exacerbating the water scarcity concerns.

This lack of rainfall leads to a domino effect, with the drying soil directly impacting agricultural activities. The JRC also warns of an increased risk of wildfires, ranging from moderate to high in coastal Spain and reaching very high to extreme levels in northern Africa.


JRC Map of Drought evolution in the Mediterranean Region


All this paints a concerning picture of agricultural production in the Mediterranean region. This is why there is a need to adopt new ways of growing food and how it is protected against various plant health diseases that are now getting spread as the temperatures rise in the region and the whole of Europe.  

The PataFEST project, focusing on sustainable pest management and post-harvest storage solutions for potatoes, exemplifies the ongoing efforts to address these challenges to ensure sustainable potato protection and postharvest excellence.  

For more information about our project visit our website.