PRODUCTION AND MARKETING OF ANTHURIUM ON THE CANARY ISLANDS
We cannot base the interest of our study on its economic importance, since on the Canary Islands we find the cultivation of other flowers such as rose, carnation, strelitzia (bird of paradise), etc., which exceeds the cultivation of Anthurium by a considerable percentage.
If we confine ourselves to its extent, estimated at some 40 000 square metres, we realise its small importance. This surface area, however, is very much split up, there being very few growers who have more than a thousand square metres with which to intensity production.
At present we find that the majority of the growers who are engaged in the cultivation of Anthurium are also growers of other flowers and ornamental plants (figure 2). In the same way, they undoubtedly look upon this cultivation as a fairly profitable "hobby", since it is quite separate from the fear many of them have of expansion, believing that this could have repercussions on the present market prices.
The justification for this attitude must be sought in the considerable investments which must be made to allow the introduction of Anthurium culture. This makes the grower who has made the investment wish to redeem it as quickly as possible, thinking that, as an expensive flower, it is produced in smaller quantities, and with a small increase in production, the prices on the market would fall.
If we examine the assumed origin of the Anthurium, both A.Andreanum, the only plant which is cultivated commercially on the Islands, and also A.Scherzianum, we see that it originates in Colombia or Costa Rica, where it grows wild in the forests. From this we can deduce that it is a plant which requires high temperatures and humidity and reduced lighting.
These requirements indicate that the cultivation of this plant cannot be carried out in the open air, although the climatic conditions of the Canary Islands are in fact good. Consequently, we require a type of installation which alters the atmospheric conditions.