The sisal cultivated in Brazil, also known as Agave, is of the specie A.Sisalana and is a plant distinctively tropical hence there is little commercial cultivation of this plant outside the tropical environment.
The sisal originated in México, more precisely at the Yucatan Peninsula, and was from there that the sisal migrated, initially to Florida in the U.S.A, in the beginning of the 20th century, and later to Africa and Brazil.
For being resistant to extensive droughts and high temperatures, the sisal adapted well to the tropical climate of the semi-arid region of the Northeast of Brazil. In this region, the weather is hot and there is high concentration of sunlight, which facilitates the development of the plant. For this reason, the Northeast is the only producing region in the Brazil which presents the necessary conditions for the cultivation of the sisal – annual average temperature superior to 24° C degrees and moderate rainfall.
It is from the cultivation of sisal that originates the bulkiness of the hard fibers produced worldwide, and Brazil nowadays is the main producer of this type of fiber generating more than 110,000 tons annually.
The cycle of A.Sisalana – sisal – lasts in average 8 to 10 years, with the usual production of 180 to 250 leaves per cycle and per plant. It takes 4 years for the plant to get ready for the first cut and 4 to 6 years more of production of leaves. After this period, the mother-plant loses its production capacity.