“The production of chestnuts this year is bad. I don't remember a year as bad as this one, we talked to older people and no one remembers a year like this”, producer and entrepreneur José Mário told Lusa.
In an area of the district of Portalegre where the Bária and Clarinha species predominate in the fields, the dry weather has hampered the development of the chestnut, which has meant that a “very low” calibre of nut has been produced.
“I have a 90 percent drop in production. It's a big loss, as we need fresh chestnuts and there aren't any”, he explained.
Despite this loss, the businessman and producer stressed that the chestnut that is being used for consumption “has quality”.
Chestnuts with a calibre 30/32 are being marketed in the “order of €2 per kilo” and the smaller chestnut (calibre 28) is being marketed in the order of “€1 per kilo”.
The microclimate of the São Mamede mountain range is very favourable to the production of chestnuts, leading the Marvão chestnuts to be declared as protected.
To minimise the negative economic impact on producers, the Chamber of Marvão is promoting, until 21 November, a gastronomic initiative dedicated to chestnuts in 14 member restaurants in the municipality.
In addition to this initiative, the municipality is also promoting the 37th edition of Feira da Castanha - Festa do Chestnut, an event that is considered to be one of the top in the county and taking place over this weekend.
According to the Chamber of Marvão, more than three tonnes of chestnuts and 1,000 litres of wine are expected to be consumed at the fair, which was postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.