The production of biological bananas on Madeira Island has shown an increase of 50%, according to the regional secretary of the Agriculture and Fisheries, Humberto Vasconcelos, stating that the banana sector is “stable”.
“The sector in general has shown an increase of 5 percent in the production and I also want to highlight the growth of 50 percent of banana production in a biological way,” said the minister.
Humberto Vasconcelos added: “Madeira has currently a stable and safe position related to the quantity and quality of banana productions but it is still possible for growth in the level of production per square metre”.
In the first trimester of 2019, the banana production in Madeira fell by 18.3% compared to last year, according to data released by the Regional Directorate of Statistics, with 4,177.1 tonnes sold, 933.3 tonnes less.
The Secretary of Agriculture and Fisheries predicts that until the end of the year the numbers may improve, and the production should reach the usual average value, between 20 and 22 thousand tonnes, most of these destined for export to mainland Portugal (almost 80 percent).
Banana cultivation is one of the most significant and profitable businesses in Madeira agriculture, occupying around 700 hectares, seven of which are produced biologically, mainly in the districts of Funchal Câmara de Lobos and Ponta do Sol, on the west of the island.
The sector has been managed since 2008 by the public company Gesba.