THIRTEEN areas have been highlighted in the province of Malaga, that with any luck, could bring prosperity back to the region.
And one of the hotspots which could soon enjoy the sweet taste of success is Axarquia – traditionally famed for its sugar cane production.
The Andalucian Employment Service says that the cultivation of the shrub Stevia – a perfect alternative to artificial sweeeteners – has a great future.
The SAE study identified 13 economic sectors in the province, which the service believes, have the potential to create employment and have a positive impact on the markets in their area.
The report highlights that these emerging sectors often have close connection with the areas where they are based.
In many cases they have adapted to to social and economic changes, leading to sectors that may, the report says ‘have traditional characteristics, but be innovative as well’.
The potential categories highlighted include agriculture and livestock : traditional, organic and new alternative crops, viticulture, food industry, renewable energy, environmental activities, specialised construction, logistics, IT, new tourism, cultural and leisure services and new trade.
The SAE also commented in its report that it intends to set up areas of special economic interest (ATE) where employment would be actively promoted and encouraged.
In Axarquia the SAE says the cultivation of Stevia has great future potential – thanks to the area’s subtropical climate.
They have organised meetings with local farmers to encourage the its cultivation and signed agreements for support and advice.
The SAE believes that Stevia represents a huge opportunity for the area, which could also lead to full scale production, harking back to the good old days when sugar cane kept 5,000 people employed in the fields and factories.