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The cultivation of pecan nuts set to extend across the Guadalhorce

Interest in the pecan nut is growing in Andalucía.
Interest in the pecan nut is growing in Andalucía. / SUR
  • food & drink

  • The market sector believes that within three years the cultivation of pecan nuts will have doubled given the interest shown by farmers

The pecan nut originates from North America and Mexico however it wasn’t appreciated for its fruit until the nineteenth century when the first pecan plantations were planted in America’s mid west. The pecan (Carya illinoensis) arrived in Europe in the sixteenth century as an ornamental tree. It belongs to the Juglandaceae family (hickory).

Native American and Mexican Indians ate the pecans during the autumn and the name ‘pecan’ comes from a word they used for any nut that needed to be broken open with a stone.

In Spain it is grown in the Ebro valley, the Guadalhorce valley and some areas of Murcia. In the Guadalhorce valley, the number of pecan trees is increasing due to the interest shown by producers such as Andrés Rojas, from the Málaga Natural company. He estimates that the production of pecans in the area will double over the next three years. At the moment, pecan production in Malaga is around 200 tonnes a year.

Pecan nuts have started to become more common in shops in Andalucía over the Christmas period, as they have in other regions such as Madrid and Barcelona.

Appreciation

“The national market still has a long way to go as the nut is becoming more and more appreciated by consumers,” explained Rojas.

Coín is one of the areas where the pecan already has a foothold, ‘mahan’ being one of the most popular varieties of pecan as it produces a large nut. Price per kilo is between 8.50 euros for the large ones and between five or six euros for the smaller nuts.

Farmers in Córdoba are also showing a lot of interest in this relatively new agricultural opportunity.