A group of Spanish and Portuguese pitaya producers have set up the Andalusian Cooperative Society (SAC) 'Pitaya de Andalucía', through which they intend to promote the cultivation of this tropical fruit in the south of the Iberian Peninsula.
With a total of 26 producers from the Andalusian provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cadiz, as well as from Extremadura and southern Portugal, it is the first such cooperative that transcends the borders of a province, a region and even a country, said sources from the entity to Efe.
The creation of this association has been promoted by the province of Huelva and will be chaired by Alberto Garrocho. The entity aims to "continue growing and promote this crop, giving a boost to the supply with the aim of meeting the growing demand in various markets, not only in Europe, but also in some in the Middle East, like Dubai."
This perennial cactus, originally from Central America and the Caribbean, started to be cultivated in the province of Huelva about four years ago and is currently grown on about ten hectares.
The fruit is grown between the months of June and October, depending on the variety, and although it requires little labor, it does need to be manually pollinated and pruned in a special way.
In addition to being a tasty fruit, the pitaya is also considered a superfood because of its healthy properties and low caloric value. It hardly contains carbohydrates and has a high content of vitamin C, which facilitates the absorption of iron from food, improves the body's resistance to infections and has antioxidant action.
Source: Efe / lavanguardia.com