Which Country Is Europe's Fruit And Vegetable Garden?

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The Costa Tropical (Andalucia) in Spain has been the vegetable garden of Europe for quite some time now. From an economic point of view, agriculture has been the mainstay among all other industries in Andalucia. Agricultural cultivation in this region of Spain comprises of mostly vegetables and grain. Fruits are also grown in abundance and the other important cultivations include wine, olives, and cotton.

Although industries in this region of Spain include petrochemicals, mining, and shipbuilding but the largest industry is that of olive oil. In fact, Andalucia is the largest producer of olive oil in the world and the various flavors of this oil is essential to Andalucian cooking. People in Costa Tropical start their day with a breakfast that comprises of bread toast in olive oil to have with their morning coffee.

The main reason for the high agricultural growth in this region is due to the fertile soil that is sustains cultivation of different types of crops. The Andalucian region has a year-round growing season as a result of which, fruits and vegetables are available in abundance in both summers and winters. This is why agricultural produce from the Andalucian region is exported to all across Europe at any given time of the year.

One of the types of farming that has become increasingly popular in Costa Tropical is specialty farming. Specialty farming includes cultivation of asparagus in Granada, giant strawberries grown in Huelva, custard apples or cherimoyas grown in southern Andalucia, winter tomatoes are grown in Almeria and avocados are cultivated in Malaga as well as the Granada coast. Some of the other crops grown under specialty farming include sweet bell peppers, which are also known as stop-lights or semáforos, artichokes, and aubergines.

Fruits orchards for lemons and oranges are in abundance and so are muscatel grapes, which are grown mostly in the Malaga region and are mainly cultivated for local Malaga wine as well as the famous Malaga raisins.

The climate in Costa Tropical plays the all important role in making this region suitable for a varied range of produce. Crops and vegetation in this region include mostly subtropical variety, which are grown all along the coasts and also in the dry continental inland all the way across to the northern temperate climates in the mountainous regions.

As of today, the most important crop that has put Andalucia on the world map is Olive. The andalucian economy depends on its exports and olive oil is exported from this region to different parts of the world. In this region, olives are cultivated over a huge expanse of area and also generate maximum revenue. Today new cooperatives have been formed so that they can take care of the organic production as well as processing of olives and converting them into oil. The leader in olive oil is Cordoba, which has over 14,000 hectares dedicated to organic olive groves.

The annual production on an average varies depending on the nature of the olive harvest but the typical harvest can produce somewhere around 600,000 to 1,000,000 metric tons, and only 20% of this produce is exported.

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