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Melon, Cucumis melo / Cucurbitaceae
The origin of melon is located, according to some botanists, in the south of Africa; other botanists think that it comes from Asia. This culture was introduced in the Mediterranean countries and America. At present, its culture is widely distributed

The world-wide production is around 19,000,000 tons and by continents the production of "cantaloup" melons and other types is as follows:

ContinentThousand tons%
Africa1,0315
Asia12,79066
Europe2,84515
North America2,29612
Oceania74-
South America4032
Total19,439100

Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book (1999)

The countries with larger production of "Cantaloup" melon and other types are China, Turkey, the United States and Spain. The ten main countries are:

CountryTons
China6,406,384
Turkey1,800,000
The USA1,320,850
Spain1,100,000
Iran1,100,000
Rumania900,000
Egypt718,106
Morocco655,000
India640,000
Italy529,199

Source: FAO Production Yearbook (2000)

The main import countries of "Cantaloup" and other types of melon are the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

CountryTons
USA702,689
United Kingdom150,000
Canada132,608
The Netherlands108,189
France101,749
Germany91,978
Belgium-Luxembourg46,617
Japan38,744
Portugal28,660
Italy23,364

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook (1999)

The following table shows the chief countries exporting melon:

CountryTons
Spain326,195
México266,817
Iran172,889
USA160,959
Costa Rica160,000
Guatemala70,000
Brazil65,453
The Netherlands63,302
Honduras60,000
France47,360

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook (1999)

The leader of melon export at world-wide level is Spain, being the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands the main destinies. For the N Hemisphere, Brazil is one of the main off-season suppliers.

Consequently, with the importance of Spain as an exporting country, melon is also one of the most important cultures in the country. The communities of Andalucía, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Extremadura and Valencia stand out for a greater surface devoted to melon culture.

AreaHectaresTons
Andalucía12,058335,000
Castilla-La Mancha15,156237,000
Region of Murcia5,411182,000
Extremadura4,45379,000
Comunidad Valenciana7,04044,000
Baleares1,19129,000
Cataluña93016,000
Castilla-León1,08215,789
Total46,239922,000

Source: La Horticultura Española (2001), SECH, Sociedad Española de Ciencias Hortícolas.
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