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  Fruits Vegetables
es en ca
 
Fig, Ficus carica / Moraceae
Figs come from the Near East; it is thought that the Phoenicians introduced them in the Mediterranean and the Greeks in Palestine and Asia Minor.

The main producing countries are in the Mediterranean basin, being Turkey the outstanding one.

It is thought that the fig tree comes from the countries of the Near East, from the Mediterranean area to the west of Asia. Nevertheless, old civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean used figs long before they arrived in Europe. Probably, its culture began in southern Arabia from where it extended to the rest of countries. Figs were well-known in Egypt, where they were called ‘teb", and references to these fruits have also been found in the pyramids of Giza. In France and Italy they have also found fossil figs in tertiary and quaternary deposits. Most probably, the Phoenicians were the ones who spread the culture of the fig tree in Cyprus, Sicily, Malta, Corsica, Balearic islands, the Iberian Peninsula, France. The Greeks took the fruit to Palestine and Asia Minor.

The most important producers are in the Mediterranean basin, highlighting Turkey, Algeria, Greece, Italy and Spain. Asia Minor and the United States, mainly California, are also important.

The world production of figs is next to 1 million tons. Approximately 90% of this production comes from the countries of the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East.

The following table shows the production of some of the most important producing countries:

Country
Production (thousand tons)%
MIDDLE EAST44644
Turkey27827
Iran848
AFRICA30130
Egypt115-
Algeria69-
EUROPE14514
Spain606
Greece353
Italy353
AMERICA--
The United States424


Source: Melgarejo, P. Tratado de Fruticultura para zonas áridas y semiáridas.

Concerning dry figs, the main importers are in Europe.

Country
Thousand dolars(1.999)
Germany18,668
France14,909
Italy12,546
Switzerland6,132
United Kingdom5,363
Spain4,021
The Netherlands3,897
Belgium-Luxembourg2,426
Portugal2,395
Austria1,989


Within the European countries, Spain it is the main producer and exporter, producing around 60,000 tons of figs. The main producing regions are the Balearic islands, Extremadura and Andalusia.
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