Mexico: Price of limes goes up again

Producers from the Apatzingan Valley pacted the sale price of limes for the first time after several years in which its price in Mexico and abroad was set by organized crime.

On Monday, producers agreed that the price would increase from 16 to 20 pesos, even though the arrival of the paramilitary to Apatzingan hasn't generated confidence.

In meeting with paramilitary leaders, producers said that that price would prevent the lime from being underpriced thus decreasing their profits.

"We can agree on the price. Previously, it was the Templars who determined its cost. We expect things to change, because we are afraid. Some growers fear they will be hurt because the criminals are in some suburbs where the Federal police and the paramilitary haven't gone to," said one of the farmers.

Ranch owners said that organized crime charged them 10 cents per kilo and that other producers were being asked for a thirty to sixty thousand peso fee.

"They imposed a fee of 10 cents per kilo. It might not be much but there are people who sell up to 100 tons per day. Besides, we are not a few producers, we are many," explained one of the growers. Producers also agreed to suspend cutting until Thursday, when an assembly will renew the board and an audit of the entity's lime organization will be announced.

Leaders of the paramilitary asked producers to trust them and to stop paying criminals. They urged them to report crime so they could clean the area.

On February 2, Michoacan's Secretary of Rural Development, Ramón Cano Vega, reported that Apatzingan exported 2,000 tons of lime to the United States in January and that the state's production for the same month had amounted to 18,000 tons.

Source: Elsiglodetorreon.com.mx

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