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Avocado? Yes, please!

AvocadosThere has been a lot of talk about planting avocados in the Algarve. Some are extremists, talking about the world and ignoring the terroir, the specifics of each land.

With the new drop-drop way to water plants, sensors to make optimum use of it, according to weather and the need of each plant, location of the planting regarding water sources, it may be an excellent way to bring nutrients and jobs to people.

In the Algarve there is an aquifer which goes from Loulé to Silves, easy to pump up to water the plantation. Otherwise that good water runs out to the sea.

Raw avocado flesh is 73% water, 15% fat, 9% carbohydrates, and 2% protein. In 100 gram, an avocado supplies 160 calories, and gives some 20% of the Daily Value of several B and K vitamins and 10-18% DV of vitamins C and E. Also potassium and magnesium. It contains phytosterols and carotenoids, such as lutein.

Avocados have monounsaturated fat fat as oleic and palmitic acid. The saturated fat is only 14% of the total. Avocado oil has many uses for salads and in cosmetics and soap.

The best species to rise in the Algarve are Hass, Bacon or Reed. They should have some 4m space between each plant and 5-6m between lines. Each plant, planted, costs some €20, including needed fertilizers. You start harvesting after four years, some 300-600 fruits per plant. It is highly productive for some 12years.

The market for avocados is growing because of its nutritious value. Turkey and Israel are our competitors, both outside the EU. Good for all, if planted in the right way, in the right zone.

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