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October Monday

Fruit production grows and diversifies

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 22 (ACN) The production of the main fruits grown in the country exceeded the production target by 21,657 tons in the first seven months of the year, with special mention to the collection of mango, papaya, guava and coconut.

In the case of mango, 17,000 tons more than planned were harvested; 4,000 more of papaya; and almost 1,000 more of guava. Only pineapple (about 300 tons) and some less cultivated species fell short of the production target. Most of this production goes to the industry to make soft food for children, whereas the rest is used for juice, jam or canned foodstuffs.

The situation with citrus crops is different, since for several years the fields have been hit by the infamous Huanglongbing (yellow dragon) disease, caused by bacteria, which affects various species of the Citrus genus, including lemon, orange and tangerine.

Cuba’s once large citrus enterprises have diversified their plantations to support the fruit production strategy. Of the total land allocated to fruit trees, 45% is used for mango, which is always in great demand in Cuba and is also exported.

These efforts are also supported by the inclusion of new cooperatives to the Fruit Tree Development Program where polyculture techniques are implemented to make the most of the soil and the resources that contribute to their development. Specialized nurseries guarantee the delivery of quality seedlings that support annual plantings.

Thanks to these programs, fruit production is growing and becoming more common in market stalls, even if neither the quantity nor the diversity expected by consumers is yet guaranteed.

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