PRICKLY PEAR
(Opuntia ficus-indica)

The plantation of prickly pear in Jordan started 60 years ago, by importing the cladodes from nearby countries. During that period, it was planted as hedges around homes and fruit tree fields. During the last 20 years it was planted as sole cropping under extensive cropping system in the semi-arid areas in the middle of Jordan. The current area under prickly pear is approximately 300 Ha, comprising extensive production systems, hedges and mixed plantations. Extensive production systems are located mainly in Madaba, where farmers grow prickly pear for fruit production in rows. Prickly pear is also planted under mixed plantation systems, intercropped with other fruit trees, such as fig and olive. The producers package the fruits in 2-6 kg polyester containers with minimum cleaning of spines for local fresh consumption. In Jordan none processing of the fruits is done.