Most of the greenhouses in the province of Almeria are devoted to producing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, and courgettes. However, different institutions - such as Las Palmerillas de Cajamar, Anecoop, the la Junta de Andalucia's Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (Ifapa), and the Foundation of the Auxiliary Industry of Agriculture (Tecnova) - continue to search for new products and cultivars that can add value and diversify Almeria's agriculture.
Tecnova is working on obtaining new commercial varieties of pitaya through manually directed crosses. Their goal is to obtain varieties that have higher yields, high concentrations of functional compounds, and are adapted to Almeria's temperature, humidity, and climatic conditions. The pitahaya varieties being tested in the Tecnova's experimental farm come from Latin America and Asia,
There already are farms that grow pitahayas in El Ejido, like Antonio Miras' farm, and also in Anecoop. The market price of this fruit oscillates around 7 euro per kilo at their origin. However, its price has fallen a little due to the progressive increase in area in the tropical zone of Granada in recent seasons.
Papaya test crops are also booming in Almeria, to the point that the Papayal association was created. "The problem of growing papayas in Almeria is that it requires heating during certain periods, which would be too expensive if you don't obtain a high volume of kilos," sources from Tecnova stated.
The entity has also incorporated soursop to study its adaptation to the greenhouse in Almeria. They are also conducting a post-harvest study of pecan, a fruit that is similar to the walnut but that has no wrinkles in its shell, in collaboration with Malaga's Ifapa.
Tecnova's Plant Production area is also working on the Chiotec project to improve the productivity of the pistachio crop.