Agriculture in Madeira
The climatic conditions of Madeira are quite favourable to agricultural practice. This activity requires a lot of manual labour, as the mainly mountainous and steep terrains, rarely allow the introduction of agricultural machinery.
Agriculture has always been one of the dominant sectors in the regional economy. The rich soil and subtropical climate allow the cultivation of numerous produce, grown on small terraced land with abundant vines, potatoes and some fruit trees.
The vine-growing land is separated by stone walls which are still crafted by hand by the local farmers. The terraces overlap in steep slopes as if they are forming generous grapevines steps over a volcanic soil that gives unique features to our Madeira Wine.
In the lower areas one can find Mediterranean products such as figs, corn, wheat, rye and barley. The fruit trees abound in the valleys, producing cherries, apples and plums. Just above sea level, are the tropical species: bananas, sugar cane, custard apple, mango and passion fruit.
The main cultures that drove Madeira's economy were sugar cane, cereals and vines. Madeira continues to cultivate these products, but the banana is the largest agricultural product for export.