THE Axarquia’s iconic olive groves are under threat.
A campaign to save the region’s ancient olive trees has been launched by the Izquierda Unida political party.
With trees over 100 years old literally being uprooted for ornamental purposes, protesters have warned other factors are also at play.
A boom in mango growing is more of a threat to the olive industry than anything else, according to the IU’s report.
“A boom in mango production is seeing farmers cut back their olive groves in order to plant mango trees,” an IU spokesman said. “It is a fine solution in the short term, but in the long term it will have a serious impact on the agricultural security of the region.”
He added: “Olive groves are a part of the fabric that makes up the Axarquia and must be protected.”
Olive groves over 200 years old are protected by law in Spain, and deforestation of protected land can land a fine of €500,000.
The IU has submitted its findings to the Junta de Andalucia and is urging them to apply protected status to scores of groves across the region.