The story also highlighted growing demand in Europe for passionfruit and sweet granadillas (passiflora ligularis), which could also be of benefit to the department’s 37 municipalities.
The Spanish group is expected to visit Huilo in November to analyze crops and make European export deals.
“Huila is a pioneer in passiflora production. There are 3,056 hectares of sweet granadillas in the department, which is the top producer nationally. There are another 1,630 hectares of passionfruit planted, firstly in the Cauca Valley, and there are another 170 cultivated hectares of cholupas, which has totally converted the region into fruit industry land,” Huila Fruit Chain technical secretary Alfonso Barragán was qutoed as saying.
The cholupa is also known as the ‘bone granadilla’ and its latin name is passiflora maliformis, growing round sweet-acidic and aromatic fruit with black seeds. While the cholupa has a maximum diameter of around 5cm (1.96 inches), the sweet granadilla can grow with a diameter of up to 7cm (2.76 inches).
The story reported Huila has 2,644 hectares of lulo fruit, known as naranjilla in Ecuador, which a citrus flavor somewhere between rhubarb and lime. The department has 886 hectares of tree tomatoes and 1,472 hectares of blackberries.
“The deparment of Huila has been diligent in the area of fruit. But there is a downside, as the region doesn’t have businesspeople in these products.The level of production of growers is medium – our producers have between one and six hectares for the average planting of trees. Then the education of growers is not the best, it’s low, which impedes development in terms of administrative processes,” Barragán was quoted as saying.
Some Huila growers recently visited Spain thanks to an agreement between the Colombian Institute of Agriculture and the Agricultural Cooperatives of Catalonia.