Avocado cultivation areas increased 58%
Spain is the main avocado producer in Europe. Most of the avocados grown on Canary Islands have so far been used for domestic trade; however, an increase in production has allowed the outflow of this product to become increasingly important, especially within the mainland market but also in France, Cape Verde and African countries. La Palma and Tenerife are the islands where the crop is most prominent with 595.3 and 473.4 hectares devoted to production, respectively, compared to 181.6 hectares on Gran Canaria, 19.6 on La Gomera, 17 on El Hierro and 0.5 on Lanzarote.
The area devoted to avocado cultivation in the Canary Islands in 2015 was 1,287 hectares, which translates into an increase of 58% compared to 2007, when this crop occupied 815 hectares. This data marks a boom experienced by this subsector over the last eight years and its possibilities for growth, especially towards foreign markets.
In the Archipelago there are different varieties of avocado. The main ones are Hass and fuerte, although there are others like Antillano (West Indian), Reed, Pinkerton, Bacon, Lamb Hass and other hybrids.
The combination of different varieties means that during almost the entire year production can be obtained, although in summer – mainly in August and September – this is smaller. The objective of the farmers in the Canary Islands is to extend the harvesting season by growing the crop in different micro-climates.