Popular:

The cactus or that "monster" that gives greenness to the arid zones

Just as the Spanish conquistadors distrusted the Aztec cactus or nopal in their day, this "monstrous" plant native to Mexico is still undervalued despite its potential in arid areas of the planet.

Rome, Nov 26 (EFE) .- Like the Spanish conquistadors distrusted in their day the cactus or nopal of the Aztecs, this "monstrous" plant native to Mexico is still undervalued despite its potential in arid areas of the planet.

The Spanish chronicler Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo was already surprised by the cactus when he drew it in the 16th century in his book "General and Natural History of the Indies", without being clear whether that was a tree or one of the most terrifying "monsters among the trees".

A recent publication on his Cultivation recalls that the Spaniards suspected at the beginning of the culture of the peoples they had conquered, looking at their culinary habits with extreme caution.

They had to pass. centuries before the mistrust was overcome and the prickly pear, also called cactus fruit or prickly pear, will be appreciated in different parts of the world.

Currently the plant is grown in more than 20 countries. Professor of the University of Chile Carmen Sáenz.

The expert, who was a speaker this week at a seminar in Rome, emphasizes that the use of cactus can benefit many poor farmers in arid and semi-arid areas, which represent 41% of the entire land area.

Even those small producers who barely have three hours of electricity per day can use the few resources at your fingertips, says Sáenz.

Only with the sun is it possible to dehydrate the pulps of the prickly pear, eliminating the seeds, to preserve that food rich in water, fiber, sugars and vitamins. carmine. chilena.

From Mexico come the nopalitos, which are nothing but the tender and thin paddles of the nopal that, as Saenz explains, "have no thorns, are easily peeled and are consumed as a vegetable. "Cooked and cut into strips, they are also kept in brine or vinegar.

In northeastern Brazil, cactus production covers an area of ​​500,000 hectares, mainly for fodder, according to the expert José Dubeux, of the University of Florida (United States), who maintains that there is still room to expand his productivity, both in large farms as small.

To do this, it suggests adopting new varieties resistant to pests, using the appropriate machinery, combining prickly pears with other crops such as corn and knowing how treat invasive species.

After its extension on both sides of the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia and Oceania, the cactus still has not been seen with good eyes.

The coordinator of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Arid Zones (ICARDA) Mounir Louhaichi says that, on his visit to Afghanistan, he met people who refused to plant him fear of their thorns and the possibility of transmitting diseases.

A lack of knowledge that slows their cultivation "in marginal areas where there are fewer resources for which to compete, "he says.

Hans Dreyer, a specialist from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), underlines the" versatility "of this" unattended plant, but enormous potential ", since it also has medicinal, cosmetic, industrial, energy uses and is even used as a" natural "separation fence between land.

In addition to restoring degraded landscapes, can grow in semi-arid places and turn the desert into fertile land. Arid, experts see the cactus as an ally in the face of climate change.

Comments 0

?
No comments for this article yet!
EUR/USD

EURUSD=X

1.1747 -0,00 -0,24%
USD/CHF

CHF=X

0.9581 -0,00 -0,09%
GBP/USD

GBPUSD=X

1.3067 -0,02 -1,54%
USD/JPY

JPY=X

112.5670 +0,09 +0,08%
USD/CNH

CNH=X

6.8451 +0,01 +0,15%
USD/CAD

CAD=X

1.2912 +0,00 +0,06%
IBEX 35

^IBEX

9590.40 +6,70 +0,07%
IBEX MEDIUM..

INDC.MC

15377.30 -38,40 -0,25%
IBEX SMALL ..

INDS.MC

7490.80 +5,90 +0,08%
IBEX TOP DI..

INDD.MC

3047.90 +1,80 +0,06%
FTSE LATIBE..

INDB.MC

1249.20 +9,20 +0,74%
FTSE LATIBE..

INDL.MC

8444.10 +226,10 +2,75%
Abertis Inf..

ABE.MC

18.36 +0,00 +0,00%
Actividades..

ACS.MC

37.83 +1,03 +2,80%
Acerinox, S..

ACX.MC

12.24 -0,03 -0,24%
AENA, S.A.

AENA.MC

150.45 +4,75 +3,26%
Amadeus IT ..

AMS.MC

78.26 +0,46 +0,59%
Acciona, S...

ANA.MC

75.86 -0,12 -0,16%
Financial S..

XLF

28.74 -0,11 -0,39%
VanEck Vect..

GDX

18.78 -0,15 -0,79%
SPDR S&P 50..

SPY

291.99 -0,22 -0,07%
Vanguard FT..

VWO

41.80 +0,17 +0,41%
Direxion Da..

TZA

8.24 +0,12 +1,48%
Utilities S..

XLU

53.06 +0,22 +0,43%
Cookies help us to offer our services.
Reset Password