Pineapple Cultivation History|
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Pineapple Cultivation History
The pineapple spread from its original area (central South America) through cultivation, and by the time of Christopher Columbus (1492) it grew throughout South and Central America, southern Mexico and the Caribbean (West Indies). Columbus himself may have taken a sample back to Europe.
The Spanish introduced it into the Philippines, Hawai'i (introduced in the early 19th century, first commercial plantation 1886) and Guam. The fruit was successfully cultivated in European hothouses, and pineapple pits, beginning in 1720. Commonly grown cultivars include 'Red Spanish', 'Hilo', 'Smooth Cayenne', 'St. Michael', 'Kona Sugarloaf', 'Natal Queen', and 'Pernambuco'. It was reported that President George Washington grew them in a hothouse at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
Pineapple cultivation by US companies began in the early 1900s on Hawaii. Dole and Del Monte began growing pineapple on the island of O'ahu in 1901 and 1917, respectively.
Maui Pineapple Company began pineapple cultivation on the island of Maui in 1909.
In 2006, Del Monte announced its withdrawal from pineapple cultivation in Hawaii, leaving only Dole and Maui Pineapple Company in Hawaii as the USA’s largest growers of pineapples. Maui Pineapple Company markets its Maui Gold® brand of pineapple and Dole markets its Hawaii Gold® brand of pineapple.
In the USA in 1986, the Pineapple Research Institute was dissolved and its assets were divided between Del Monte and Maui Land and Pineapple. Del Monte took 73-114, which it dubbed MD-2, to its plantations in Costa Rica, found it to be well-suited to growing there, and launched it publicly in 1996. (Del Monte also began marketing 73-50, dubbed CO-2, as Del Monte Gold).
In 1997, Del Monte began marketing its Gold Extra Sweet pineapple, known internally as MD-2. MD-2 is a hybrid that originated in the breeding program of the now-defunct Pineapple Research Institute in Hawaii, which conducted research on behalf of Del Monte, Maui Land & Pineapple Company, and Dole.
Southeast Asia dominates world production: in 2001 Thailand produced 1.979 million tons, the Philippines 1.618 million tons while in the Americas, Brazil 1.43 million tons. Total world production in 2001 was 14.220 million tons.
The primary exporters of fresh pineapples in 2001 were Costa Rica, 322,000 tons; Côte d'Ivoire, 188,000 tons; and the Philippines, 135,000 tons.
In commercial farming, flowering can be artificially induced and the early harvesting of the main fruit can encourage the development of a second crop of smaller fruits.
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Last Modified: Friday, August 21, 2009 03:48:23 AM