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Agriculture in Spain

Unemployed young people in Spain are encouraged by the provincial council in Malaga through its brand “Sabor a Malaga” to cultivate stevia, a natural sweetener with health benefits.


Stevia products from Mercadona. Photo: Erixon Consulting.

The Provincial Council has launched a pilot project “empres stevia” for training in the regions of Guadalhorce and the Axarquia. The project started as a reaction to the lack of information on crops in general, and to provide information on marketing and financial forms to start plantations. In the first phase 50 people are to be trained, but the idea is to expand the courses across the province in the coming months.

The project was presented on Tuesday by Ana Mata (Area de Ciudadanía) and Leonor García-Agua (Desarrollo Rural Economics). Ultimately, it’s about recreating some of the jobs that were lost when sugar cane plantations were abandoned. A few decades ago there were over 5,000 people who had their living from sugar cane in the region.

Facts about Stevia
Stevia belongs to the Asteraceae family, originally from Paraguay and is grown traditionally in many parts of South America. It is natural, calorie-free, has zero impact on blood sugar levels and is safe for teeth. Stevia contains 11 different steviol glycosides that give sweetness and is approximately 300 times sweeter than sugar. The European Commission approved steviol glycosides in December 2011, with the designation E 960.

More information about the project
Association for growers and marketers of Stevia presents the project on November 10 for the municipalities in the Axarquia. For more information contact