Agricultural evolution and industrial development in the Valencian economy: guano imports and production of chemical fertilizers by Trenor y Cía. (1838-1926)


  • Begoña Giner Universidad de Valencia
  • Amparo Ruiz Universidad de Valencia


Valencian agriculture, fertilizers, Trenor y Cía, business, 19th century, accounting information


Based on the relevant experience of Trenor y Cía., a business established in Valencia (Spain), this research provides evidence about how the advance in the Spanish industry due to the development of chemical fertilizers during the 19th century influenced agrarian progress. This achievement supports the idea of interrelation between agricultural modernization and industrial growth, and suggests that the evolution of agriculture-industry happened in terms of compatibility and complementarity. Trenor y Cía. undertook several commercial and financial businesses, the fertilizer business being the main activity that made huge profits. Thus, the company was an importing agent of guano for more than half a century and a pioneer in solubilizing phosphates with sulphuric acid and producing chemical fertilizers, as evidenced by the registered patents.