They have just launched their new short cucumber Akasya and they have courgette and green bean materials in development
The province of Almeria is an extremely attractive region for seed companies. The ‘Sea of Plastic’ houses the largest area of greenhouses in the world, with 32,368 ha in 2020. Therefore, the plant breeders continue to invest in this area. One of the latest to do so is Bejo. The seed company is “intensively” growing in team and resources to position its products, such as courgettes (over the next few years it will announce its advances), green beans and cucumbers. In the last segment, they have just launched Akasya, a Spanish cucumber variety that is in its first year on the market with very good sales prospects. “The farmers who have tried it have changed over to Akasya. We are growing and we have recruited another person for the team,” according to Miguel Fernández, a specialist in the technical department.
Akasya is a strong variety, with leaves that are quite horizontal and an open bearing to make harvesting by farmers easier, as well as for light to enter, therefore avoiding discoloured fruit. It has short internodes (“with good handling, the kg are guaranteed throughout the cycle”), it produces high quality fruit, very dense (they fill out well; they are heavy), dark green in colour, with a good shape from start to finish and significant thorniness. Regarding the thorns, Fernández recalls that they are “highly valued by marketers, because they work as water reserves and they maintain the quality for longer without becoming dehydrated.” The variety reaches its “full glory” in autumn and spring transplants, maintaining the thorns and dark colour. In the winter, under normal conditions and with correct handling, it gives an “exceptional” result.
During the next campaign, Bejo will try out French cucumber pre-commercial materials, concentrating on crops in Almeria, and it will continue developing snack cucumber varieties that are already being tested in the region, following in the wake of their mini carrots.
Regarding green beans, the leadership of their latest variety Sidonia, added to their catalogue 4 years ago, is worth mentioning. The material, 100% Bejo, is number one in Morocco and global sales leader for green beans along with Estefania. Sidonia is highly attractive for the Spanish auction and export market, because “it can reach almost total ripeness without the beans showing and its post-harvest has been greatly improved.” It has resistance to SBMV (they were pioneers in incorporating it), and its optimum transplant dates are autumn and spring.
In a pre-commercial phase they also have a dark green bean variety, Helda, another semi-long climbing variety and a climbing round bean to complete the catalogue.