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Garlic, Alium sativum / Liliaceae (Alliaceae)
The origin of the garlic culture is very old, although its origin is not known clear. It was used in India in VI B.C., although most of the authors state that it is native to the Southwest of Siberia. In the Egyptian pyramids there are proves of its consumption and culture, and it was highly appreciated by the Romans and the Greeks. In the Middle Ages, the garlic was considered as a remedy and protection against pests and epidemics. In the XVIIth century it was only consumed by the low class, since the high classes rejected it for its strong odour. At present it is valued as seasoning, and it is cultivated almost everywhere in the world, mainly in Asia, meaning more than 80% of the world-wide production. The main producers are China, India, Republic of Korea and Egypt.

The world-wide production is as follows:

ContinentThousand tons%
Africa2913
Asia7,54982
Europe7438
North America3884
Oceania1-
South America3053
Total9,277100

Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book (1999)

The 10 countries with larger production are:

CountryThousandtons
China6,444
India517
Republic of Korea483
Egypt301
The United States299
Russian Federation198
Spain175
Argentina150
Thailand 131
Turkey106

Source: FAO Production Yearbook, 2000

The 10 countries with greater export are:

CountryThousand tons
China553
Argentina93
Spain56
Singapore19
Mexico17
Malaysia16
The Netherlands15
France13
United Arab Emirates12
Chile11

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook, 1998
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