Ecuador is seeking new export markets as pitahaya production continues to grow

Ecuador pitahaya

China has become the 59th country to grant access to Ecuadorean pitahayas after years of negotiations, Ecuador’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) announced this week.

Patricio Almeida, executive director of Ecuador’s plant health agency Agrocalidad, praised the “intense work between the two phytosanitary institutions and the commitment of the pitahaya producer-exporter sector” in securing the deal.

Ecuador exports around 23,000 tonnes of pitahaya a year worth US$99m. The US is the main destination market, taking 84 per cent of shipments, followed by Canada, Colombia and Singapore.

Ecuador has 7,217ha of pitahaya production and there are 1,891 producers that are registered to the export the fruit. The provinces with the highest production of this fruit are Morona Santiago, Pichincha, Manabí and Guayas.