7. Callosa nisperos

This local case study of specialised nisperos agriculture in Callosa d’En Sarria (Marina Baja, Alicante) is to support the A-level Human Geography Option 1: Production, Location and Change.

It will also be useful for case study material in GCSE Unit 7 Farming.

What is the nisperos fruit?


See the very good Wikipedia article on the history of the fruit, otherwise known as a loquat (from Cantonese Chinese) and also medlar fruit.

200px-loquats_and_mountain_birdThe tree is known by its Latin name Eriobotrya japonica and is native to China but also commonly found in Japan and other countries of south east Asia.  It was only cultivated in relatively recent times in Spain, where the main area for cultivation is in Callosa d’En Sarria.  Spain is the largest world exporter of nisperos, although not the world’s largest producer.

Local cultivation

Our key text for this case study is Loquat, production and market by P. Caballero and M.A. Fernández, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (2003). Download the PDF file here: nisperos-medlar-loquat-production



Reticulate venation: all veins branching repeatedly, net veined.


University of Valencia: introductory article on nisperos cultivation.Links:

Mediterranean Agroforestal Institute  

Avaasaja – the professional organisation for interests of farmers in Valencia region

All Fruit Export – Spanish fresh produce suppliers.  See calendar for the production of various fruits including nisperos, and note how short the season is compared with other types of fruit.

School visit to El Tossal nisperos in Callosa.

GCSE agriculture: a case study of a local agricultural product is needed for some exam questions where you may be asked to give examples.

A-level framework:
Case studies for 1.2 Management of Agricultural Change

The case study needs to be more than simply descriptive: the syllabus requires a case study of agriculture in one country at two different scales:

  • Understand agricultural change at the local level, at the scale of the holding or producer.
  • Understand agricultural change at the national level.  (Not necessarily related to a particular product but a wider policy for agriculture

    Press article 9th March 2017 about visit of Director General of Agriculture Roger LLanes (Generalitat de Valencia) to Callosa:

  • Translation of the key points at the end of the article:

    Need for reductions of IRPF modules
    The Direction of Agriculture has pointed out the strategic importance that the agricultural sector has in the interior of the region of Marina Baixa, especially the production of loquat (nisperos).   In this regard, Llanes has expressed the need to collaborate with loquat producers in view of the sensitive situation in the sector, which has to face the reduction of productivity as a consequence of the meteorological effects and the increase of production costs. (my italics)   In this sense, both LLanes and the Councilor for Agriculture, Lumi Puigcerver, have referred to the advisability of making changes to the model imposed by the Ministry of Agriculture to request the reductions of the IRPF modules, which has as reference the last three years and not the previous year.