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Francisco Rodríguez, President of ASPROCAN

Canary Islands banana opening new markets in Europe

One of the most important products for the agricultural industry and development of the Canary Islands generally is the banana. The banana represents 33% of the total production of agricultural products in the islands. Each year 400 million kilos of banana are produced in the Canary Islands, with 9,000 hectares under cultivation, worked by more than 10,000 people. In total, working places related to the banana production are above 27,000, taking into account direct and indirect jobs.

80% of the cultivated area of bananas in the Canary Islands is operated by small producers, who have each about 1 hectare cultivated. Of the 7 islands, only 5 are banana producers. The island with the biggest production is Tenerife, followed by La Palma, Gran Canaria, La Gomera and El Hierro.

Banana production in the Canary Islands has a bigger transcendence in the economy of some islands by comparison to others. For example, in La Palma, which is inhabited by 80,000 people, it is of great importance, due to the fact that 80% of them depend on banana cultivation. Due to the islands geography, is not possible to make the harvest and production more technical, so quite a large labour force is needed for cultivation. "To highlight that this cultivation is of big profitability by each square meter. The production average for each banana bunch is around 22 to 25 kilos", said Francisco Rodríguez, president of ASPROCAN (the association that gathers the total number of banana producers in the Canary Islands).

Francisco Rodríguez, president of ASPROCAN

“Banana is very important for the Canary Islands, not only from the economic point of view, but also the social, the environmental, working and on every level, including the communications point of view. The Canary Islands are a fragmented territory, apart from the mainland and, today, banana is about the only cultivation coming out of the islands to the mainland. We also have the tomato, but is dropping more and more. For us, it's fundamental to produce banana. We do it in a very traditional way, we care a lot for the environment and everything around the cultivation to give a warranty to the consumer", assured the president of ASPROCAN.

Canary Islands bananas are presently commercialized solely in Spain, but they expect to start exporting to Germany soon. The restart in exporting to Germany will be made with a first shipment of 80,000 kilos. Despite being a small export, ASPROCAN expects it to be the beginning of many, not only to Germany, but to other European and world countries.

For more information:

Francisco Rodríguez
president of ASPROCAN 
Tel: +34 922.53.51.42/44/46

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