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Out of Season
This body of work portrays the social and economic landscape of the Spanish greenhouse plains of Almeria. Once a deserted land and traditionally an impoverished territory, today the Almeria fields represent the largest concentration of plastic greenhouses in the world.
The principal aim of this photo essay is to show how the mass-production of vegetables for northern European markets has dramatically shaped the landscape of this region. This profitable agribusiness has pushed the land to its very environmental limits, jeopardizing at the very same time its own sustainable development. The lack of natural resources essential for agricultural development has been made up with large financial and technological investments. With little more than 200 millimetres of annual precipitation, the industry relies on groundwater fed by small stream aquifers from the Sierra de Gádor Mountains to the north. But as most coastal aquifers become contaminated with pesticides, fertilizers and seawater an increasing number of environmentalists question the long-term economic sustainability of this industry.
—— Reinaldo Loureiro took part in the 2009 Rhubarb-Rhubarb International Photographic Review.
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