In just a few weeks, the passion fruit harvest will begin on the Costa Tropical of Granada, after a mango campaign that, in the case of Finca El Edén, has been quite good. "We are specialized in the production and marketing of organic tropical fruit, and when it comes to mangoes, we grow the Irwin variety," said Eva Cantos, owner of the farm.
"In Motril, where our farm is located, the Irwin campaign has gone well, and our production has increased by 3,000 kilos compared to last year. In this area, we have not had major problems with the drought because we have water from the Sierra Nevada snowmelt, but the temperatures were too high, which caused the production to start early and for too much fruit to arrive within too short a period. From the second half of August the markets were more saturated with mangoes and it was a little more difficult to market them."
In any case, Eva says that Finca El Edén has one of the first mango harvests in Spain, since its trees are grown under plastic, which brings the fruit's ripening forward with respect to that of the open ground productions in the region. "About 8 years ago, we decided to plant exclusively the Irwin variety in our greenhouse, where originally there were trees of different mango varieties. Harvesting the Irwin is more laborious, because the fruit is harvested only when it is ripe, and during the two and a half months that the campaign lasts (it starts in July), there are two daily harvests. However, the production of Irwin mango is very limited and, because of its flavor and texture, its market has been growing more and more," she said.
"As for passion fruit, at Finca El Edén we were the first in the Iberian Peninsula to have a commercial plantation. During the first three years, I remember that it was very difficult to market the production, because there was no way to introduce it in the market, but little by little, the demand has been growing in the European market, especially in countries like Germany, to the point that, right now, the demand is higher than the production itself. And that despite the fact that there are already a considerable number of passion fruit producers in this area."
Passion fruit has two blooms, so the campaign is divided into two periods: the first harvest, which corresponds to the spring/summer bloom, runs from late July to mid-October, and the second harvest will begin in a couple of weeks, in mid-December, and will overlap with Hass avocados, which are already available in the market.
"The advantage of organic avocado is its great price stability year after year"
"We have been harvesting Hass avocados since November 15," said Eva Cantos. "As in the case of mangoes, in this area, we have not had problems with water, unlike in La Axarquia, where in summer it has been necessary to water the crops once every 15 days. However, there has been a major problem with aerial fungus."
"The previous year was an 'on' year in which we suffered the impact of calima during the avocado flowering, which reduced the floral load of the trees. This year, the trees have again had a high amount of flowers, but because of the drought and high temperatures, many of them were too weak to fight against fungus infections, and in general, there has been a drop in the production."
"Fortunately, my many years of experience in organic tropical growing at El Edén have helped me get ready for this situation by strengthening my trees, and my avocado production is in line with that of previous years."
"The advantage of organic avocados is that their production is more limited, compared to that of the conventional, and prices remain very stable year after year, at an average of around 3.80-3.90 Euro per kilo at origin."