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San Rafael, Veracruz
Mexico: Severe drought affects plantains
Plantain producers are being affected by a severe drought. In the last few weeks the drought's intensity has increased to the point that it can damage the production, which is why producers must have irrigation systems to mitigate this problem that can harm their economy, stated Sergio Eduardo Graillet Contreras, the state president of the Plantain Product System.
"The drought has affected us for a while, as it's been a month and a half or two months since we had constant favorable rains. Thus, we're working to continue promoting irrigation," he said.
As a result of the drought, the banana association is asking permission of the National Water Commission (Conagua) for the construction of 500 wells of average quality, which will serve to provide water to 2 thousand hectares of plantain.
He said that requesting the permits was difficult because of a three year old decree that states that Conagua can't grant permits for the construction of wells, which has become a huge obstacle for plantain producers.
As a result, he said, they have begun to take action in the matter, asking the governor of Veracruz to intervene to solve this problem, as the state has 33 percent of all the water in the republic and part of it could be used to supply the fields, before it is lost to the sea.
He also said that price of the fruit had started rebounding in the last days as they started marketing fruit that had a better presentation and wasn't turning brown, which gave it a better value.
"This week prices rebounded because we started to harvest clean bananas. We know that the fruit harvested in December, January, February, and March had been damaged by the cold and had turned brown. The fruit wasn't bad and didn't have a bad flavor, but the quality of its presentation was bad. Once we started marketing clean fruit prices started improving," he said.
Publication date: 5/12/2017
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