The Cabildo de Gran Canaria has delivered 5,000 coffee trees to the Association for the Promotion and Agricultural Development of Agaete, the municipality in the Northwest of Gran Canaria, aiming to increase the amount of coffee plantations and continue with the recovery of this historic crop in the municipality.
The seedlings distributed are Arabica species, a ‘typical’ variety, ( also known as “coffee shrub of Arabia” or “mountain coffee”) from seeds collected at traditional coffee plantations in the Agaete Valley and which have been grown in the nurseries of the Granja del Cabildo, experimental farm.
Coffee trees account for 50% of the production of the fruit growing in this area that the Cabildo de Gran Canaria reproduces and distributes, followed by wine grapes and olive trees, the three main seedlings produced and delivered to the farmers of Gran Canaria. Besides these, the government farm cultivates dozens of species from different parts of the world to support diverse agriculture on the island, aimed at food sovereignty.
In addition to delivering the coffee tree, the island’s primary agricultural institution offers farmers advice on growing this crop, especially the best time for planting and the care that these seedlings require during the first year.
This coffee species, adapted two centuries ago to the conditions of Gran Canaria, particularly in the Agaete microclimate, grows under the shade of tropical trees, since the plant requires semi-shade, with high temperatures and humidity. For this reason, Agaete farmers combine the cultivation of coffee with mango and avocado.
100% of the farm’s coffee production is delivered to this Association with which the Cabildo has collaborated since 2004 in the Agaete Coffee Cultivation Valorization and Promotion Program. The Government Farm began in 2005 with the cultivation of 1,000 plants a year until gradually reaching the 5,000 that it currently produces.
To promote this crop, the Cabildo donates the production of its farm to Agroagaete , which has allowed the plantations to grow exponentially in the municipality, production has gone from 5,000 plants in 2002 to 25,000 grown over 15 hectares.
Agaete brings together fifty coffee growers who harvest between 8,000 and 10,000 kilos each year, although the last harvest, which started this spring, has been very generous and will exceed the 10,000 kilo barrier. Agaete coffee is also one of the focus brands of the ‘Gran Canaria Me Gusta’- program and its coffee plantations are an attraction for tourists, who purchase most of Agaete’s production.