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Spain: Europe can already taste Huelva's guavaAlmost two years ago, Antonio Luis Martín González set up an experimental guava plantation on one of his farms and he is already exporting the production. The process is still in the testing stage, but the first of these tropical fruits are already arriving in Europe, specifically in Paris, and also at some domestic markets, such as Madrid or Barcelona, which have received approximately one pallet per week since the harvest started in late September.
The producer is now studying aspects such as the presentation that the product should have in each market, or issues related to the management of the plant, such as its pruning or its cultivation under plastic. He adds that "we are looking into its culinary potential, since the guava is still rather unknown in Europe. Its main consumers are mostly people from countries in Central and South America."
Martín is owner and manager of Frutas Curi and is now immersed in a research project devoted to this tropical shrub species of the Myrtaceae family. To this end, he reached an agreement three years ago with a professor of a Cuban university who is an expert in this crop. He decided to start this business venture "convinced by this expert about the enormous potential in the province of Huelva for the cultivation of guava," mainly due to its climatic conditions. The only difference is that in Cuba the fruit is grown in the open ground, and here it is necessary to use greenhouses in the coldest months of the year.
The farm in question has a total of 1.2 hectares, where several clones of guava plants were planted in early 2015 as an experiment. The initiative also helps the entrepreneur to analyse aspects related to the marketing of the fruit in Europe, "where it has so far been accepted by consumers."
"If everything goes well, the harvest will last until the end of December or early January, harvesting between two and three fruits per tree and week once they reach a weight of between 120 and 140 grams."
Martín is convinced about the need to "diversify the cultivation of strawberries due to the blows that the sector has been suffering in recent years because of the monoculture of this fruit in Huelva."
Publication date: 11/27/2017
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