Madeira Island ‘exports’ 80% of its banana production to mainland Portugal.
In the first eight months of the year, production of this popular fruit reached 9,512 tonnes, with 7,590 tonnes (79.8%) being shipped to the mainland and the remainder sold in the local market. According to data from the Regional Statistics Office, banana production fell 11% in the same period of 2012.
Plantations of the Musa acuminata banana variety, which is believed to have originated from either the Canary Islands or Cape Verde, have existed in Madeira since the 16th century, with historical references of the fruit on the island dating back to 1552.
Banana production is today one of the main contributing industries to employment and the economy on the island.