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Artichokes from Murcia are on the right track

From almost disappearing two decades ago, artichoke production is experiencing a boom in the region of Murcia.

The Region of Murcia has become the largest Spanish artichoke exporter, with 5,241 tonnes between January and July in 2022, a figure that makes up almost 30% of the total sold outside Spanish borders.

Likewise, the region is the largest producer on Spanish soil with 91,858 tonnes, way ahead of the Valencian Community, Andalusia, Navarra and Catalonia. This figure totals 40% of the entire Spanish production.

A significant increase in exports

The volume exported in the first six months of the year alone shows an increase of 40% compared to the entire year of 2021. The main markets for artichokes from Murcia are found in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

The native Spanish artichoke mainly belongs to the Blanca de Tudela variety, with green heads and with the planting of rooted cuttings, and the Morada variety, which really has only a token presence.

Surface area and production both on the rise

The Region of Murcia has the largest crop area in Spain, with 6,335 hectares in 2021 (13% more than the previous year), which in terms of volume means around 92,000 tonnes, with an increase of 10% in comparison with the previous season.

It is worth emphasising that 60% of the Region’s production goes to industry, that is to say, canned artichokes. Smaller artichokes are also used for industrial processes and the rest are marketed fresh.

Guadalentín and Campo de Cartagena

The area of Guadalentín includes over 60% of the cultivated surface area. Specifically, Lorca, with 2,965 hectares is the town with the largest concentration of surface area, followed by Totana with another 578 hectares. Campo de Cartagena is the second reference within the Region, where the town of Torre Pacheco stands out with 910 hectares.

The climate in the Region of Murcia is perfect for growing artichokes, a product that is planted in the summer and harvested between the months of October and April.

The successful future of this vegetable is, without any doubt, linked to the creation of the ‘Alcachofa de España’ (Artichoke of Spain) association, an organisation created in 2014 that concentrates all its efforts on making the goodness of the crop that forms part of the Mediterranean culture more visible.

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