Strawberry Producers in El Salvador Expand Cultivation with 5,000 Sabrina Plants.

In an effort to expand cultivation and production on a national scale, strawberry producers affiliated with the Apaneca Strawberry Cooperative Association (Acofresa) are set to introduce 5,000 mother plants of the Sabrina variety next month.

After 15 years of experience in cultivation, the producers assert that Sabrina is one of the most high-yielding varieties in the country’s soil.

Gustavo Melgar, the president of the cooperative, stated that the objective is to enhance crops with the newly imported certified plants from a nursery in Argentina.

“Over the past 15 years, we have tested 20 different strawberry varieties, and five of them have proven to be the most suitable, including Sabrina. The nursery in Argentina supplies us with these healthy and certified plants,” he commented.

According to Acofresa, this particular variety has the capacity to yield 5.5 pounds of strawberries per plant annually, along with 12 to 15 stolons (the main stem’s prolongation that gives rise to new plants) within the same timeframe when cultivated at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level.

Interested producers can acquire the plants through the cooperative, which also provides guidance on best agricultural practices.

The sector has witnessed several improvements, including an increased number of strawberry producers in the country, thanks to the dissemination of knowledge and expertise by the cooperative. Planting is scheduled to commence after July 20.

Melgar further explained that local farmers currently produce an estimated 3,000 pounds of strawberries per month, and with the addition of new producers, he expects the total to reach around 25,000 pounds per month.

According to the association’s data, El Salvador requires 1 million pounds of strawberries monthly for domestic consumption alone, leading to a significant portion of the demand being imported from other producing countries.

In this regard, the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) highlights that 90% of the fruits consumed in El Salvador are purchased from other Central American countries and the United States. The strawberry imports alone amount to a total of 2.5 million kilograms per year.