Ciego de Avila, Cuba.- Farmers in this central Cuban province are committed to increasing pineapple production to meet industry needs and export programs.
According to the director of the company producing the fruit in Ciego de Avila, Reinaldo De Avila, the purpose is to harvest more than 2,000 tons of pineapple to supplant the demands of the local industry and shipments to Europe.
He indicated that despite the excess of humidity as a result of Hurricane Irma the crops were damaged and the plantings were delayed, so it was necessary to increase cultural attention and the promotion of new areas.
Currently, the province has planted some 460 hectares of the MD2 and Spanish Red varieties, and expects to reach in 2018 the 2,000 hectares, the director explained.
Ciego de Avila is the only Cuban territory that promotes the MD2 pineapple, which is very productive and whose fruit is sweeter, juicier, and of greater presence and size, and with high demand in the markets of Spain, Italy, and France.
The most widespread in this central Cuban province is the Red Spanish pineapple, a more resistant variety to climate change that requires fewer provisions.
Ciego de Avila, some 430 kilometers east of Havana, has a long history in the production of pineapple, with ups and downs in its harvest plans; however, it shows today stability due to the introduction of modern technologies.
Changes in the planting technique, the entry of irrigation equipment and a better dosage of fertilizers and biological means against pests and diseases, allow increased production plans.
The commercialization of fresh and canned fruits in the main tourist resorts of Cuba, such as Jardines del Rey, Varadero and City of Havana, among others, motivates an increase in the income earmarked for development programs.