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Asparagus, Asparagus officinalis / Liliaceae
Asparagus
It is thought that the asparagus is native to the river basins of Tigris and Euphrates. At first it was a spontaneous plant that grown sandy lands of the Eurasian continent. It was already cultivated by the Egyptians towards 6,000B.C., and from there they spread to Greece and Italy. Later on, the plant was introduced in Spain by the Romans. It under went a period of decay up to approximately 1,300, although during the Middle Ages it was highly appreciated.

Until the end of the XIXth century, the green asparagus was the main type. From that century on wards, it was cultivated underground, thus spreading the production of white asparagus.

The world-wide production is mainly centred in Asia, representing 84% of the total production. The main producing country in the world is China, at great distance from the following countries, Peru, the United States and Japan.

The world-wide production is as follows:

ContinentThousand tons%
Africa421
Asia3,50184
Europe2366
North America1654
Oceania15-
South America2085
Total4,167100

Source: FAO Production Year book,2000

The 10 main producing countries are:

CountryThousand tons
China3,407
Peru183
The United States101
Japan80
Mexico62
Spain61
Germany45

Morocco
36
Greece35
France29

Source: FAO Production Year book,2000

The 10 main export countries are:

CountryThousand tons
Mexico41
Peru26
Greece24
The United States21
Spain18
Australia8
The Netherlands8
France5
Chile5
The Philippines4

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook ,2000
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