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Mexico: Prickly pear cultivation in Chiapas under study
During a working tour of the municipalities of Cintalapa, Jiquipilas, Ocozocuatla and Ejidos such as the Jobo and San Fernando, which belong to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the federal delegate of INAES (National Institute of Social Economy), Marco Antonio Romero Balseca, made an exploratory trip to study the cultivation of prickly pears, which is a crop that has registered an increase in demand not only nationally, but also internationally, and has more than 14 producing states recognised by the Mexican Association of Producers of Nopal, Tuna and Maguey.
According to statistics, Mexico harvests over 400,000 tonnes of prickly pears per year and the states of Zacatecas, Puebla, State of Mexico and Hidalgo are the largest producers.
Currently, Mexico harvests 98% of the global demand for the product, with the United States, Canada and Chile, where their cultivation is also starting, as the most important customers. For its part, Italy has not only become the main European consumer, but also the country with the largest acreage devoted to the study and cultivation of prickly pears in the area, accounting for 2% of the global market.
After the working visit, Omar Carpio Flores, national president of the Mexican Association of Producers of Nopal, Tuna and Maguey, stressed that Chiapas is strategic for the crop because of the natural conditions of its land, as well as the interest shown by its producers.
In this context, Marco Balseca, INAES delegate, gave an account of the productive possibilities that would open from the consolidation of this activity and stressed the need to promote the development of projects aimed at obtaining high value-added crops for both domestic and international markets.
Publication date: 11/23/2015
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