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The Calasparra rice fields are an example of sustainable cultivation in an ecological environment (28/11/2016)

The rice fields of the municipality of Calasparra are an example of sustainable cultivation in an ecological environment.

The rice field is formed by the basin of the rivers Mundo and Segura as it passes through the municipalities of Calasparra, Moratalla and Hellín (Albacete).

This rice field also has a high importance for the conservation of biological diversity, so it is among the natural protected areas of the Region of Murcia and is part of the Natura 2000 Network.

The minister, who visited Calasparra Rice Denomination of Origin today, said that the rice fields of Calasparra "are a traditional activity very ingrained and is the first rice in the world that has the guarantee of guarantee and quality of the Denomination of Origin since 1986 ".

The area registered in the plot register is about 1,000 hectares, of which, due to rotation with other crops, are usually planted between 500 and 700, while the remaining are used for growing other cereals such as wheat and corn.

This technique of cultivation allows the regeneration of the subsoil, by avoiding the exhaustion of its natural wealth.

The average annual production of paddy rice is about three million kilos.

Martínez-Cachá said that "it is one of the only food in the region in the world, because of factors such as climatology, irrigation system, alternation with other types of crops and maintenance of seeds, traditions that are only used in This locality ".

The rice of Calasparra is a mountain culture, with an altitude that oscillates between 341 and 500 meters on the level of the sea.

The coldness and purity of its waters, the irrigation system, with a constant renovation of the water through terraces, allows a varied fauna within the plantations.

The alternation of rice cultivation with other types of crops allows the maintenance of traditional seeds.

In addition, the ripening of the grain has a cycle that extends up to 30 percent more than in the rest of rice.

The rice fields contribute an important landscape value to the environment.

In the middle of August, the fields offer an intense green carpeting, turning golden in September.

At the end of this month or beginning of October, the grain is collected and transported to the mills registered in the Denomination of Origin, for processing, packaging and placing on the market.

The different varieties (Bomba and Balillax Sollana) and types of rice can be marketed with the organic or ecological marking, if their cultivation has followed the appropriate technique to this qualification.

Species of Interest

Alongside the rice fields there are monumental trees such as the almez (Celtis Australis), in El Salmerón, and poplar (Populus nigra), in La Tercia.

Likewise, in the channel of the Segura and Mundo river can be found riparian vegetation in good state of conservation, with alamedas, choperas and fresnedas.

In other places, the existence of particularly humid enclaves in a semi-arid context allows the existence of thermophilic carrascals and other relict species, such as the broad-leaved (Phyllirea media).

In addition, rice paddies include the natural corridors of Segura and Mundo River as the best refuges of the otter (Lutra lutra) and waterfowl such as martinete (Nyctocorax nyctocorax) and avetorillo (Ixobrychus minutus), and other species such as the lepidoptera ( Mayremys leprosa), the bunch (Squalius pyrenaicus) and the odonate (Coenagrium mercurial).

To this are added numerous archaeological, cultural and ethnographic elements in the surroundings of the rice fields, as the Muslim town of Villavieja;

The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Hope in Calasparra and the azudes and ditches, as well as the first Ferris wheel in the Salmerón.

Source: CARM

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