Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Esteban Lorenzo from Pitapalma

"We are shipping 90% of our pitaya production to the Czech Republic"

The Czech Republic has become the main destination for the pitayas from the Spanish island of La Palma grown by producers belonging to the Pitapalma Association. "By standing together, we are managing to market the fruit without competing against each other. We are exporting 90% of the production directly to Prague and the other 10% is being allocated to the local market," says Esteban Lorenzo, spokesperson for Pitapalma.

The 2024 pitaya campaign will start on the island in just a few weeks and will last until the end of October/early November. "At this time, we are already pollinating the flowers. After the pollination, the fruit takes about 40 days to be ready, so we estimate that by June 10th we will already be harvesting and getting the first shipments ready."

"Right now, we are mainly cultivating red and pink varieties. I personally have an experimental farm where I am testing about 30 varieties to see which ones yield the best results, and so far, we have identified 2 varieties as the most suitable for cultivation: Tesoro and Physical Graffiti. However, I am now starting to test the Jimdu variety, which is also looking very interesting," says Esteban.

"It is worth mentioning that one of the most popular varieties is the Undatus, but for now, we prefer to work with the aforementioned ones because, unlike the Undatus, which has a lower number of flowerings and yields its production all at once, we prefer varieties with a more spaced-out production that we can ship throughout the entire season."

"It's also important to highlight that although pitaya cultivation has spread to many areas of Spain, the production in the Canary Islands really stands out," says Esteban Lorenzo. "Here in La Palma, we don't need greenhouses to produce pitaya because we have a truly subtropical climate. It's, in fact, as mild as that of the fruit's original habitat, so we don't have issues with rot, and generally, the plants remain healthier throughout the entire cycle."

"This allows us not only to reduce our production costs, but also to cultivate organically without any chemical fertilizers. And since we hardly have any problems with pests, there is also no need for additional treatments; something that our Czech buyer greatly appreciates. This year, in fact, they have ordered three times the volume that we supplied them in the previous campaign."

Pitaya has become a very interesting crop in La Palma, with very attractive prices and, as demonstrated by Pitapalma, with good demand across Europe. "It's a good complement for many producers, and it can become an alternative if you have enough acreage available for cultivation," says the spokesperson. "What we are seeing is that more and more growers in La Palma are deciding to cultivate pitaya. Three years ago, when we launched the association, we had 18 partners; today there are 43. And keeping in mind that there are producers planting pitaya who are expected to join Pitapalma, this year or the next we will come close to 60 partners."

For more information:
La Palma, Spain
Tel.: +34 639 36 19 01
[email protected]

Publication date: