The Region of Murcia produces about 1,100 tons of papayas per year in about 24 hectares, which are currently in production. Of this acreage, about 20 hectares belong to one firm, which sells one million kilos annually and plans to double that figure in 2019, since it has fast growing greenhouse trees.
This company, based in Mazarrón, has managed to become Europe's largest papaya producer in just two years, exporting to countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Also, thanks to the use of greenhouse cultivation, it is possible to produce continuously all year round.
The Councilor of Water, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Miguel Angel del Amor, visited this company's facilities, where he stated that "these subtropical crops are the result of study and innovation in the Region," and have made the regional agricultural sector stronger. "It is a bet on diversification which has yielded financially positive results," he said.
The European market "prefers the regional papaya over that from countries like Brazil, because it reaches the most demanding markets in just two days, thereby maintaining its freshness," said the Councilor.
The Agricultural Regional Office (OCA) of Fuente Álamo and Mazarrón has successfully tested the biological control of the red spider, a pest that has caused great losses in the quality of the harvests in recent years, affecting some of Murcia's most representative crops.
Due to the resistance of this spider to phytosanitary treatments, the Council carried out a study to find ways to eradicate this insect in citrus crops. This served to confirm that the use of Stethorus punctillum is an effective solution.