Pitahaya or dragon fruit plantations have grown exponentially in recent years in many fruit-and-vegetable-producing areas in Spain, such as in the Region of Murcia. One of the largest plantations in Murcia is in the aquiline district of El Cocon, in the Guadalentin region, where more than 6,000 plants currently produce about 10,000 kilos of fruit per year. However, according to the owner of Dragón Ibériko, Juanjo, the annual production will increase to nearly 60,000 or 70,000 kilos in the coming years.
According to the entrepreneur, pitahaya production is a bit delicate, since pollination must be done manually. "Its flower is only open one night and you have to be there to pollinate it. It is a plant that comes from Latin America and there are large insects and bats that carry out its pollination there. However, we don't have these animals here so we have no other way to do it than manually.”
Different varieties of dragon fruit are grown in El Cocon, ranging from deep red pitahayas to pink or yellow fruits, with a pulp that can be white or deep pink. The company markets fresh pitahaya and pitahaya cuttings.
There is no doubt that we'll see many more pitahaya plantations in the Region of Murcia and in the rest of Spain in the coming years because of its enormous benefits and properties. The pitahaya is a diuretic fruit that, in addition to preventing fluid retention, keeps you hydrated. It is a source of vitamin C, it delays the signs of skin aging, and helps you combat the risk of suffering chronic degenerative and cardiovascular diseases. It has a minimal caloric profile, improves the intestinal process, and prevents constipation. It also helps reduces the risk of arrhythmias and improves the functioning of the heart.