Banana of the Canary Islands is the most important culture of Canary Islands and, during decades, its industry was protagonist of the economic growth of the Archipelago.

The culture of Banana began in Southeast Asia, between Malaysian India and ; in Century V would pass to the African continent coming from Madagascar and extended there by the coasts of Mediterranean, already in following century. At Canary arrived coming from Equatorial Guinea introduced by expeditionary Portuguese. History considers that, once the culture was based successfully in the islands, the Spaniards introduced in American earth in the trips of colonization to New World .

platanera of the Canary Islands provides a characteristic fruit . is a small, yellow banana and with dots . has one forms extended and a skin of yellow color, color this one that, following the variety, will indicate its degree to us of maturation according to is more or less intense. Once undressed the canary banana of its skin, we were with one pulp that, always following the species, will take a off-white color throwing to the yellow.

With respect to su' value nutritivo', the Banana of the Canary Islands is rich in Potassium, Iron, Magnesium and B6 Vitamin ; and, Saccharose and others maintain less significant levels of Carbohydrates soluble sugars .

Culture

platanera, is a grass with arboreal biotype, but not a true tree (mainly because it lacks trunk), brings forth the banana, is a vegetal species Monocotiledónea of the sort Musa pertaining to the family of Musáceas . is a family with different varieties, of which in the Canary Islands is cultivated Great dwarf, Heavy palm, Zelig, Brier and black Johnson .

ideal temperature for the culture of the platanera is located around the 25 Degrees Celsius and its altitude of culture must be inferior to the 300 meters, conditions these that only occur in the plantations of the islands. Expensive culture is that requires much water, good conditions of luminosity, grounds with good porosity and drainage, of sandy texture but with Clay and Limo in determined proportions, great content in organic materials and with acid PH . Due to these conditioners, the Banana of the Canary Islands is worked in all the islands safe in most Eastern of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote where plantations do not exist. In the phases of sowing and agricultural operation the use of pesticides in favor of biological products is diminished. of the plant can pass near a year between sowing mother and brings forth of the first cluster or pineapple of bananas. At this moment when it is come to its mooring, pocketed and is desflorillado. moors consists of propping up the cluster with horcón (wood wood) to avoid that, by the weight, this one falls. pocketed is used modernly to cover the cluster with a plastic stock market in order to avoid plagues and diseases and to cause a uniform distribution of the fruit. With desflorillado the flower of the banana retires that is at the end of each fruit, a laborious process that is realized manually and that the consumer can appreciate in the blackish closing that there is in each piece.

The clusters are cut of the right plant before their maturation to come to their calibration, selection, quartering, packaging and labelling, processes all these realized of form manual and that allows that the fruit arrives in perfect conditions for its sale and his final consumption in approximately two weeks from its harvesting.

Economic importance

The operation of the banana, in monoculture regime, began at the end of century XIX with the restoration of Frank Ports and, since then, he has been one of the fundamental pillars of the canary economy. was implanted by English companies that controlled their production and export to the European continent, mainly to England. Along with the banana, the English also developed monoculture of the tomato, whose first plantations settled down in the south of the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife . Law of Frank Ports of the Canary Islands, promulgated by the minister Brave Murillo in 1852, came to suppose the liberalization of the entrance and exit of merchandize, impelling since then the island economy and constituting an important fiscal incentive for the commerce with and from the islands to the implantation of Economic regime and Fiscal of the Canary Islands (REF) and single market European .

was at the beginning of the decade of 1880 when some English exporting companies would settle down in the islands to begin the sporadic shipments from fruits to the markets of their country. It is considered that the Briton Peter S. Reid, settled down in Tenerife from 1867 was the one in charge to organize first banana export that was carried out in 1878 .

Already in the following decade, Gran Canaria underwent a greater dynamism in its fruit sector thanks to the commercial initiatives of Alfred Lewis Jones, director of the coal company Grand Canary Coaling Co. and man of importance in shipping Elder Dempster Co. that, the height of the exports, would end to settle in Port of the Light in 1884 . This favorable enterprise climate wine to favor the implantation in Las Palmas of Gran Canaria, in 1882, of Fyffes Ltd., the first great British exporting company in settling down in the islands, that in 1888 would begin its banana exports towards the port of London by means of a regular line of steam .

In the island of Tenerife, the incipient commercial activities of Henry Wolfson also contributed decisively to the expansion of the fruit business. After its association with Wolfson, Fyffes extended its activities to Tenerife, arriving to be one of the main producing and exporting companies of the island.

Problematic present

In the present time the commerce of the banana is passing one hard stage of competition commercial, unknown until now, which had to the liberalization of the European market, where are their main clients. Today six organizations of banana producers of the Canary Islands grouped in ASPROCAN exist (Association of Banana Producers of the Canary Islands). These organizations are: Regional group of Plataneras Cooperatives (COPLACA) (the greater organization of banana producers of European Union ), united Cooperatives of La Palma (CUPALMA), Europlátano, Agriculturists of Tenerife, Banana trees of the Canary Islands and Platacan.

According to the established thing by the European Union, the banana production of the Canary Islands, Madeira, Martinique and the countries of Area the ACP ( Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific ), enjoys prefrencia of commercialization in the markets of the EU. This forces the producers of the rest of the world to limit its exports the zone Euro so that you are do not exceed 50% of the communitarian market, burdening the entrance of its products, that are put under a complex system of licenses that it foments that the European importers only can bring to the EU the cheap Central American banana, whenever before the corresponding quotas of communitarian banana of countries the ACP have been sold.

Inconformes with this situation, the great American multinationals ( Dole, Very small and Del Monte ) has declared before the EU denominated War of the banana tree what can take to the risk much more of which the Banana of the Canary Islands is displaced in fruterías Spanish by Central American banana tree (mattered by these multinationals), cheap.

The entrance in force of CMO of the banana in the EU in 1993, brought with himself the aim of the reserve of the Spanish market that from 1972 favored the productions of the Banana of the Canary Islands. After an initial period of disagreement, the balance that the producers do of the CMO of the banana is positive, since, on the one hand, the agriculturist has maintained, and, even, improved its rent; and that, on the other, the Spanish consumer has shown preference for the canary banana, choosing it by his sweeter flavor.

|- | style=" font-size: 75%; line-height: - 50px" | In kilograms. Source: Association of Organizations of Banana Producers of the Canary Islands (ASPROCAN) |}

In the year 2004, statistical agrarian of Government of the Canary Islands granted to the banana the second put, after the culture of Grapevine and in front of Popes (potatoes), as far as worked surface in all the Archipelago with 9,710 Hectares . According to the same statistic if we take care of its evolution from 1994 it observes an increase of the surface dedicated to this culture of more than thousand hectares.

However, as far as production, the banana is the first culture of the islands with 417,968 tons harvested in that same year, following to him the tomato destined the export (214,224 Tn) and the Popes, of which 111,772 took shelter Tn in 2004 . value of the platanera production in that year supposed about 115. Its importance in the agricultural production of the Archipelago is like a 22.15% of its agricultural cultures are tie to the banana, following to him the dedicated ones to the export tomato that represents a 16% of the total. After them, also the ornamental cultures of the Pope, flowers and plants have importance in the islands and the see.

More of 90% of the bananas that took place in the Canary Islands in the year 2005 was consumed outside the islands and only 8% were destined to local consumption. The islands with greater volume of production in that year were Tenerife, that with near 136 thousand tons monopolized to 48% of the production, followed of the Palm with 118 thousands Tn (38%) and Gran Canaria with than 52 thousands Tn of bananas more gathered (17%). The islands of the Gomera and the Iron throw residual values, with 5,600 and 2,500 Tn respectively (3%), that completes the statistic, since in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura there is little harvest.

The banana employs to more than 35,000 people of the islands, between direct and indirect uses, in all the phases of its production: from the harvest and harvesting to packaging and distribution. Nevertheless in the Canary Islands, the one of the banana is a culture that, in comparison with other times, is in frank backward movement and no longer protagonist in the economy of the Archipelago like long ago has a paper so. It must, partly, to economic factors (among them the implantation of the European single market), city-planning, social and to the rotation by other cultures, new or in expansion, with smaller necessity of resources. In spite of it still property of plataneras with their ships of packaging and their corresponding hydraulic infrastructure persist in the great islands, in localities in which its culture continues being fundamental part of its economy, such as the Orotava and Icod of Wines in Tenerife; San Andres and Sauces and Level of Aridane in the Palm; and Arucas, Telde and the region of Guía and Gáldar in Gran Canaria.

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