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"Spain: "The growth prospects for papayas are very high"

The cooperative Hortamar will receive financial aid with EU Operational Funds for the year 2016 totalling 1,.3 million Euro, as reported by the Government of Andalusia, which recalled that the amount allocated for the 2014-2018 period is 11.3 million Euro, with financial support totalling 5.8 million Euro.

The cooperative has received three annuities so far, from 2014 to 2016, with a total of 3.35 million Euro. Its main products are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, melons and watermelons. The cooperative's main activity is the handling, marketing and export of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers under its own label and the brands Hortamar, Alquimar and Roquemar.

Currently, as a result of the work carried out jointly by the University and Anecoop, it is marketing papayas produced in Almeria. The delegate of the Andalusian Government in Almeria, Gracia Fernández, explained that Hortamar, as a partner of Anecoop, "has opted for the cultivation of papayas, since papayas are the third most produced tropical fruit worldwide (after mangoes and pineapples) and their growth prospects are very high."

According to Anecoop's forecasts, the volume of papayas next campaign will exceed one and a half million kilos, with fruit from different growing areas, including the coasts of Malaga and Granada and the coast from Almeria to Murcia.

For now, Spain accounts for just 0.1 percent of the papayas produced worldwide, since the Canary Islands was the only Spanish region in which this product was grown. "Thanks to Almeria's greenhouses, it has been possible to recreate the necessary climate and tropical humidity to grow these crops, and this, together with the strength of Almeria's agricultural sector, has made the fruit very interesting for the sector, because it is a good alternative to traditional crops and has great prospects for growth in the future," explains Fernández.

In early 2017, Anecoop created the Economic Interest Group (AIE) "Exoticos del Sur" ("Exotics from the South"); a non-profit group whose purpose is to improve the commercial activity of its members, improving the concentration of the papaya production and its distribution.

Source: Europa Press

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