Blueberries: A Potential High Return Investment for the Azores Economy

Group bush of a ripe and green blueberries at cha gorreana tea plantation ribeira grande azoresThe Azores islands, located in the mid-Atlantic ocean, provide a unique, precarious climate that ranges from 15 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees annually. The winter months in the Azores do not receive snow or frost. However, it tends to rain more during this season, making everything bloom colorfully in the spring. One of the obstacles of living on an island is enjoying your favorite fruits year-round without paying outrageous prices to import them to these Atlantic islands. The Azores is lucky that it has fertile volcanic soil, with variations in pH balance, allowing plants and trees to thrive here. The region has had many boom and bust periods in its 500-year existence relating to agriculture. With the 18th century being devoted to the production of Oranges, the 19th-century tea, the 20th century was pineapples, and the 21st century should belong to blueberries!Fresh Organic Blueberries on the bush at gorreana sao miguel tea plantation The island of Sao Miguel, which is the largest in the archipelago with 53% of the population of the Azores residing here. This makes it the perfect trial grounds for this beloved fruit. Blueberries are becoming one of the world’s most popular fruits due to their antioxidant properties and their unique flavoring for desserts. Sao Miguel has the perfect temperature, which is not too cold and not too hot, with just enough rain in the winter months to allow these bushes to grow thick and full of fruit. The islands have never been known for producing blueberries commercially and have a similar plant called the Azorean Blueberry, a blue-bud-like plant. However, it does not produce the famous edible fruit. One of the many reasons so many people visit this secluded location in the Atlantic is the unparalleled flora and fauna that exists in this old world European island.Blueberries at Mercado do Graca Ponta Delgada Azores Sao Miguel The blueberry would make the perfect addition to the already rich Azorean culture and create a wealth of jobs and add to the already impressive collection of fruits that come from this exceptional region. The cost of blueberries has always been expensive and more so in the Azores, where they generally must be imported from abroad. The vast green pastures, high altitude hillsides, and deep forested valleys make it an ideal place to test the blueberry bush’s and their yield levels for commercial production. The pH balance required to grow blueberries matches that with the soil properties of a large portion of Sao Miguel. Azores berry for jam sao miguel faial blueberry baskets The Azores is and always has been an agriculture-based society, with only recently tourism being a new revenue stream for local businesses and government coffers. The recent economic downturn which hit Europe in 2008, hit the region hard for a few years with the tourism industry introducing hundreds of thousands of new travelers to the area and its products. The region has invested heavily in the agriculture sector, with nature and tourism being critical in the region’s continued prosperity. Introducing new fruits to the area for commercial production is essential in the region’s continued growth. Blueberries are cost-effective in cultivation and maintenance and command a fair market price which will create hundreds of long-term jobs for the region.azores blueberry farm terceira pico sao miguel islands fruits

Leave a Reply