Plátano de Canarias is a story about the cultivation of bananas on the Canary Islands and the issues that come with it.
From Asia, British sailors brought the banana to the Canary Islands, where the Spanish Conquistadores kept cultivating the fruit. Alongside tourism, it still plays an important role in the archipelagos economy today.
35.000 people work in the sector, which is protected by European laws and workers are paid European wages.
Therefore, despite its importance, the cultivation of bananas on the Canary Islands is not economic and can not keep up with its competitors from Central and South America. Every year the EU subsidizes the industry with hundreds of millions of Euros.
Growing bananas consumes a lot of water: Every plant needs around 9000 liters per year. With an average precipitation of only about 600 liters per square meter, water is the most valuable good on the islands. The need for freshwater can only be stilled by desalination and tapping into the islands underground reserves.