Even though the region of Murcia doesn't produce persimmons, more and more fruit cooperatives in the region, specifically in the municipality of Cieza, are betting on the marketing and distribution of this fruit once the stone fruit season is over. They bring the fruit from other areas, such as Valencia, which have the ideal conditions to grow this product.
One of the cooperatives which has been working with persimmon for years is La Vega de Cieza, which prepares about 40 tons of persimmon a day. Total production reaches 4,800 tons between the months of October and January, which provides work for about 50 people, giving them almost 9 months of uninterrupted employment.
Since other companies in Cieza also work with this fruit, the sector expects to market 15,000 tons of persimmon this season.
According to Santiago Vazquez, the commercial director of La Vega de Cieza, "the cooperative itself grows the persimmon in Valencia through its own partners. Then it transports it to Cieza to process it and export it to Europe." "This fruit can't be consumed directly from the tree. Once it's harvested, it has to be treated undergoing a maturation and acidity removal process," Vazquez stated.
Is it possible to plant persimmons in the Region?
"This fruit requires a lot of humidity and water, something that is not possible in Murcia today," Vazquez stated. Despite this, he said, they have carried out some tests in some areas of the riverbanks. "However, this crop requires very low-salt soils to have an optimal production," he said.
One of the sector's biggest efforts is to obtain fruit trees that can develop and produce quality fruit through desalinated water. "We know that the situation regarding the shipment of water from other regions is going to continue to get worse. We have no choice but to become self-sufficient The first thing we need is to adapt our crops, and that requires scientific work."