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Pepper, Capsicum annuum / Solanaceae
The pepper is original from South America and at present the world produces around 18 million tons. More than half of it corresponds to Asia, being China the first producing country.

In Spain are produced around 800,000t mainly cultivated in Andalucía and Murcia.

The pepper’s origin is South America, from where it spreaded to the rest of Central and Southern America. In America, the American Indians that Columbus found in his first journey already cultivated it; he brought it to Spain in 1493, spreading it along the XVIth century to other countries of Europe, Asia and Africa.

The world produces around 18,000 million tons of green pepper every year, 55% of which corresponds to the Asian production. The world production of green pepper is as follows:

ContinentThousand tons%
Africa2,31313
Asia10,08655
Europe2,64215
North America2,67915
Oceania33-
South America3342
Total18,087100


Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book (1999)

The main producing countries of fresh peppers are China, Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain and the United States. The ten main producers are:
CountryThousand tons
China7,025F(*)
Turkey1,390
Mexico1,182
Nigeria970F
Spain888
The USA761F
Egypt365F
Korea322F
Italy246
The Netherlands240F


Source: The FAO Production Yearbook (1998)

(*) F: FAO ‘s estimate value.

The main pepper import countries are the United States, Malaysia and Spain.
CountryThousand tons
The USA54,252
Malaysia26,710
Spain23,674
Sri Lanka13,414F(*)
Germany12,966
Mexico10,943
Japan9,881
Singapur8,841
The Netherlands5,925
Chile2,189


Source: FAO Trade Yearbook (1998)

(*) F: FAO ‘s estimate value.

The main export countries are China, Spain and India, along with the following:
CountryThousand tons
China59,304
Spain22,688
India41,000F
Chile5,981
Zimbawe18,766
Mexico13,472
Hungary4,835
The USA4,246
Germany2,379
Morocco7,212F


Source: FAO Trade Yearbook (1998)

In Europe, the main producing country is Spain, where at present there is a great diversity of types; the cultivars vary according to the area of production or the destiny.

In Spain, the main production areas are the communities of Andalucía, Murcia, Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha and Aragón. Other less important areas are Extremadura, Islas Baleares, Castilla y León, Galicia and Cataluña.
AreaHectaresTons
Andalucía2,923453,117
Región de Murcia2,459130,403
Comunidad Valenciana1,21739,676
Castilla-La Mancha2,00337,377
Aragón1,66628,768
Extremadura2,49019,687
Galicia1,03619,336
Castilla-León1,08215,789
Islas Baleares48615,698
Cataluña61412,683
Total15,976772,534


Source: La Horticultura Española (2001).
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