Mexico: Avocado exports threatened by phytosanitary problems

Plant health and safety problems represent a serious threat to Mexican avocado exports, which generate some 1,500 million dollars, according to the president of the Association of Producers and Packers of Michoacan (APEAM), Antonio Villaseñor Zurita.

Villaseñor Zurita was interviewed after the start of the eighth national congress of Sistema Producto Aguacate, an event that has counted with the participation of 1,000 delegates, 100 exhibitors and at least 25 speakers.

It is worth noting that the value of the avocado production in the state amounts to about 20,716 million pesos, but the value of exports stands at 1,500 million dollars, with shipments going mainly to the United States, which receives 700,000 tonnes. There are 49 producing municipalities in the state and the top ten are Tancítaro, Tacámbaro, Salvador Escalante, Uruapan, Ario de Rosales, Peribán, San Juan Nuevo Parangarícutiro, Ziracuaretiro, Los Reyes and Tingambato.

Antonio Villaseñor said that "phytosanitary issues and quarantine pests can be a serious threat to exports; another threat would be the failure to enforce the proper safety conditions and for the markets not to accept Mexican avocados due to lack of certifications." He added that "we are working to mitigate these risks" and that the actions needed must be enforced by the producers carrying out shipments abroad.

Moreover, he reported that the 1,500 million dollars generated by exports account for 50 percent of the Michoacan economy. According to the Michoacan delegation of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), avocado exports up to October of this year amounted to more than 774,692 tonnes, which is 84 percent of the state's total exports.

Michoacan's avocados are exported to over 20 countries in America, Asia and Europe, but the main focus is on the U.S. Just this year, more than 656,000 tonnes have been shipped to this market, making it the second largest consumer of the fruit, only behind Mexico itself.

Next in the ranking are Japan, with 36,000 tonnes shipped this year, and Canada, with 35,000 tonnes.

Source: / With information from

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