Agave plants could disappear from province

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Agaves, also known as Pitas, in the Cabo de Gata nature park

By Emma Randle

Agave plants, commonly known as ‘pitas’ in the province are under threat from a species of beetle known as the ‘agave snout weevil’, according to a report prepared for local nature society Serbal.

The insect, similar to the palm weevil, feeds on the agave, gradually killing it.

Expert Gema Clemente who wrote the report says it is “essential” that a study of the insects be carried out, otherwise “in just a short time all the agaves will disappear”.

Agaves are an invasive plant species from Mexico, but have come to be identified with Almería province where there is a large pita plantation between El Alquián and the Cabo de Gata, originally established for sisal production but abandoned in the 1950s.

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