Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.), an increasingly popular fruit in the cuisine sector, is finding its niche in export markets around the world. Due to its potential, the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) and the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Buenos Aires (FAUBA) carried out a study to evaluate the development of this crop in the province of Tucuman. The study yielded encouraging results and the INTA and FAUBA stated that this fruit was a great alternative to diversify the region's fruit and vegetable production.
“Cape gooseberry is a herbaceous plant that can reach up to two meters high. It is a relative of tomato and eggplant. Cape gooseberry has a high content of provitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, iron, phosphorus, and antioxidants. That's why more and more people are looking for it. In addition, it has a great capacity to adapt to various climatic conditions.
"Since northern Argentina is the center of origin of some species of the Physalis genus, such as P. pubescens, or tomatillo, we wanted to analyze whether cape gooseberry had productive potential in Tucuman and fill the void of information about its production,” stated Rolando Jose Quiroga, a professional of INTA Famailla.
Quiroga highlighted that the study provided valuable information on how the crop develops, how long its stages last, and when it is convenient to sow it to obtain higher quality and yields. “Very good yields were achieved, up to 3,500 kg per hectare and quality suitable for export. Colombia, the main producer of cape gooseberry, produces up to 14,000 kg per hectare, while Chile and Brazil can produce up to 6,000 kg.”
"The results of the studies were more than encouraging to plan this crop in Tucuman, particularly in the Famailla area, where it would open up a possibility for the regional economy. Even in those areas with productive limitations," stated Quiroga, who has a Masters thesis in the Plant Production Area of the FAUBA Graduate School.
He also added: "Cape gooseberry could become a new crop for producers in the plain. In addition, they could take advantage of the export logistics that Tucuman has. The province set up an airport and has flights to take its blueberry production, among other berries, to the main cities of the United States and Europe in a short time.
Source: Sobre la Tierra / revistachacra.com.ar