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Mexico: Plantain production on the rise
Producers from Coahuayana de Hidalgo, Michoacan, continue working diligently as they export 7,720 tons of the Chiapas and Macho plantain varieties to the United States, Serbia, Italy, England, Spain, and Berlin.
The amount exported represents 50.51% of the total fruit grown in their 240 hectares, said Monica Sanchez Cachu, delegate of the National Institute of Social Economy (INAES).
"This is an opportunity to open important channels to foreign trade," said the state official, adding that the 15,400 tons of both varieties of plantain are from two companies of rural producers: Frutas Finas Arbol de la Virgen and Frutas del Valle Michoacano.
She also said that they had been supporting these agricultural producers since 2016 with subsidies to acquire the necessary machinery to boost production and exports of high quality fruits to the aforementioned countries.
The first company was incorporated in 2012 and currently has 170 hectares where it produces 11,900 tons of Chiapas plantain, 5,720 tons of which - i.e. 48% - is exported to the markets of Serbia, Italy, England, Spain, and Berlin.
This means that they export five containers with at least 110 tons of product each week, she said, adding that the kilo was sold at 4.60 dollars.
Michoacan producers also allocated 2,600 tons of plantains per year (21.85% of their production) to the states of Guadalajara and Monterrey.
The second company generates 3,000 tons of Macho plantain per year in 70 hectares and, sends 2,080 tons -59.42% - to the neighboring country and another quantity to Jalisco.
When asked about the possible disadvantages they might face because of the policies of the United States government, Sanchez Cachu said they hadn't had any inconveniences marketing the fruit; "In fact, we ship some 40 tons in two containers each week."
According to her, Coahuayana de Hidalgo, which is one of the most remote municipalities of Morelia, is in a situation of poverty and has insecurity problems, which is why agriculture is so important for the state's economic development.
Moreover, she added, the economic activity of both companies has generated 300 jobs in that region.
Plantain production on the rise
"Made in Mexico" plantain production in 2016 amounted to 2,419,000 tons, i.e. 7% more than in the previous year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA).
Preliminary data from the Agricultural Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP) show that banana production grew by 270,000 tons from 2013 to 2016, i.e. a 12.9% increase over four years.
16 entities of the country produce the 'Made in Mexico' plantain: Campeche, Colima, Chiapas, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Yucatan.
There are at least 78,600 hectares devoted to this production. In the last four years, the average production volume has been 2,243,000 tons.
According to the SAGARPA, the fruit is being exported to 17 countries and, according to the Information System Via Internet (SIAVI), in 2016 exports amounted to US $197,078,000.
Thus, exports were 6 percent higher than in the previous year. The two main buyers were the United States and the Netherlands, with imports that amounted to 155,119,000 dollars.
Publication date: 8/21/2017
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