RICE IN THE HISTORY OF ISLA MAYOR
Isla Mayor (Seville) is a municipality with an important rice-growing tradition that is located in the Marshes of the Lower Guadalquivir. Its location is in a unique place in the world such as the Doñana National Park.
AN ENVIRONMENT THAT HOUSES THE LARGESTRICE PLANTATIONS IN SPAIN
In ancient times, this land was covered by a lake that the Romans called Lagus Ligustinus, which over time lost depth due to the dragging of materials from the river. This natural phenomenon resulted in a marsh that was a new source of resources for the place.
The inhabitants of the area then began to feel attracted by the new opportunities for hunting, fishing and livestock that would have happened. This is how the muddy island formed at the mouth of the Guadalquivir began to be occupied and which today houses the largest rice plantations in Spain.
LAND PRONE TO WHOLESALE RICE DISTRIBUTION SINCE ANCIENT TIMES
In 1253, King Alfonso X granted the power of Isla Mayor to the Council of Seville and, in 1272, to the inhabitants of La Guardia (a town currently known as Puebla del Río). However, its agricultural use did not really begin until the 20th century.
The wholesale distribution of rice began with the arrival, in 1926, of the English company Islas del Guadalquivir SA, which bought the land from the Marquis of Casa Riera. An important conditioning of the area then begins, giving rise to the creation of the first rice plantations. This required considerable investment in infrastructure (68 km of roads, 54 km of railway, 60 km of telephone line, 27 km of power lines…), which led to the establishment of numerous population centers.
Later, in the midst of the Civil War, when General Queipo de Llano arrived on the island with the intention of reactivating rice cultivation, there was again an increase in the population, and the place was renamed Villafranco del Guadalquivir. This name was kept until 1994, when it became independent from Puebla del Río. Later, in the year 2000, it acquired its current official name as Isla Mayor.
Isla Mayor is, therefore, a town that, despite its recent constitution, holds the title of having the largest rice plantations in Spain. Since ancient times it has been closely linked to the cultivation of rice, this being the main source of wealth and socioeconomic engine par excellence of its inhabitants.