Cubans test out blues potential
July 14, 2017

A company in Cuba is to invest in the country’s first ever blueberry farm. Enrique Troncoso has planted a 0.2ha plot with more than 720 plants acquired from a Chilean nursery in the western province of Pinar del Río, a region known for its sandy, acidic soil.

Director Joel Calzadilla, said the trial would allow the company to assess how the berries adapt to the local growing conditions before proceeding with large-scale plantings.

Worldwide production of blueberries for the fresh market is forecast to reach 800,000 tonnes by 2019, rising to more than 904,000 tonnes according to the International Blueberry Organization.

In 2016 global output totalled 425,000 tonnes for the fresh market and 229,500 tonnes for the processing sector.

The rise reflects a doubling of planted area since 2008 to over 134,000ha, the bulk of which is located in North and South America. Emerging producers such as Peru, Spain and Morocco are showing dynamic growth as global consumption continues to increase.