Although it is not produced in the Vega Alta on a large scale, the sale of this fruit generates more than 250 jobs over three months
The cooperatives of Cieza hope this year to market more than five million kilos of persimmon, a product that these days floods the calibrating tapes of the large fruit stores in the municipality. Although it is not produced in the Vega Alta on a large scale, for some years, the sale of persimmon has been generating in the region more than 250 jobs for three months, since it is cultivated in other areas of Spain such as Valencia, where there are greater water resources. Then it is transported to Cieza and later distributed throughout Europe.
One of the cooperatives that works with persimmon these days is La Vega de Cieza, where it is expected to sell more than two million kilos. The fruit enters ‘in bulk’ in large containers and is then calibrated and packed according to size. But, first and unlike what happens with other fruits such as apricots, peaches or nectarines, «persimmons must be subjected to a process to eliminate astringency by applying high concentrations of CO2, which produces an accumulation of acetaldehyde. and a reaction that eliminates the roughness it causes on the palate, “explained Santiago Vázquez, commercial director of this cooperative.
40 tons until December
“On a daily basis, the belts support the passage of about forty tons of persimmon from the beginning of the season, in mid-September until the end of December, when we hope to end the current campaign,” explained Vázquez, who pointed out that each year “more than 50 people work in our facilities to calibrate this variety, which come from participating in the stone fruit campaign ».
Vázquez indicated that some of the partners of La Vega de Cieza «cultivate fruit in Valencia and other areas near the east coast, since it requires abundant water and less extreme temperatures than those existing in Cieza, where some winter mornings touch the 5 or 6 degrees below zero ».
Regarding the possibility of expanding persimmon cultivation on a large scale in the Region, Vázquez considered that “the biggest problem we have is the lack of water resources, since they are trees that require constant risks.” “For this reason,” he said, “it is common to see plantations near rivers.” In addition, he explained that “it requires soils that do not contain large concentrations of salt, so it would be very questionable to irrigate this crop with desalinated water.”