The pitaya has made its way into the province of Huelva, where almost fifty farms have opted to grow this popular tropical fruit. According to Ignacio Caraballo, the president of Huelva's Provincial Council, the pitaya can be very interesting for small farmers in the province. Caraballo visited the ValdeMaría estate in Moguera in the company of the president and vice president of the recently constituted Andalusian Pitaya Cooperative Society of Andalusia, Alberto Garrocho and Javier Perez.
Caraballo said the Provincial Council would support and collaborate with the new society, which was promoted by the province of Huelva and is made up of farmers from Huelva, Seville, Cadiz, Extremadura, and Portugal. He said that responding to the request of the cooperative, they would include the pitaya among the products from Huelva –such as citrus fruits, berries, or chickpeas from Escacena– that the institution advertises and promotes. "Pitahaya is an innovative and novel crop that represents a good alternative for Huelva's countryside," he stressed.
Alberto Garrocho said he hopes there is an increase in hectares devoted to pitahaya in the province of Huelva (currently there are around seven hectares), as well as an increase in members of the cooperative, as Malaga farmers have already shown their interest in it.
"We have to join the production to be strong and offer a good product to the market," said Garrocho, who is sure that this tropical fruit, which is still not very well known in Spain but has great acceptance in the European and oriental markets, offers plenty of possibilities.
“We must position ourselves in the market as the first pitaya cooperative and have large surfaces notice us so that, in a few years, people talk about pitaya as they now talk about strawberry or raspberry,” Javier Perez said.