Most of the fruit is supplied by Granada

Spain: Almeria's avocado sales double

The value of Almeria's avocado exports has increased by almost one million Euro in the latest campaign compared to the previous one. Up until July 2017, Almeria marketed 772 tonnes of this tropical fruit worth 2.5 million Euro, compared to 517 tonnes and 1.6 million Euro in the previous season, according to data provided by the Council of Agriculture.

However, this is not due to Almeria having exponentially increased its production, but to the fact that Almeria-based companies are buying more and more subtropical fruits in the Granada coast. This is the case of Agroponiente, which has created a new line of products including papayas, mangoes, cherimoyas and avocados.

In Almeria, there are only a few farms left in areas with a suitable climate which produce some kilos of avocados. For its part, the Experimental Station Las Palmerillas de Cajamar has been reminding in recent years that these fruits may be grown in Almeria's greenhouses.

The Service Chief of the Territorial Delegation of Agriculture, José Antonio Aliaga, agrees with this, stating that "papayas are doing well, although it is essential to choose the right varieties so that they can adapt to our climate. There is still much to research in this field." Avocados require a microclimate with a temperature two or three degrees above the average of the area and without any heat waves.

Aliaga points out that Almeria's current vegetables are the result of decades of experimentation, with 40 or 50 varieties that adapted to Almeria's climate in Níjar or El Ejido.

The best incentive for the marketing and production of avocados to continue growing in Almeria as a complement to traditional fruit and vegetables is an optimal market price of up to 2.5 Euro per kilo and the growing demand, which has increased by 150% in the last decade.

At present, Malaga and Granada cultivate 80% of the avocados that are exported from Spain. The avocados grown in the south of Andalusia are mainly sold to France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

According to the Council, the good records achieved in the latest campaign both in terms of value and volume are due to the higher yield of the farms, the good quality of the fruits harvested and the expansion of the acreage. The most sought-after varieties were the Bacon, Fuerte and Hass, which cost up to 3 Euro per kilo in April.


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