Mexico: Good export opportunities for the plantain from Colima

Domestic production: According to data from the Agricultural food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), during the period from 2005 to 2015, domestic production of plantain increased by 1.5%; going from 2,103,000 tons in 2005, to 2,262,000 tons in 2015; however, production in Colima recorded a growth rate of 4.1%, as it went from 146,000 tons to 179,000 tons in the same period.

In 2015, the national production of plantain amounted to 2.2 million tons, 80% of which (1,907,819 tons) were produced in the following states: Chiapas, 708,700 tons (31%), Tabasco, 600,289 tons, (27%), Veracruz, 318,725 tons (14%), and Colima, 179.819 tons (8%). These states were followed by Jalisco and Michoacan, which accounted for 6 and 5% of the production, respectively. The remaining (10) leading plantain producing entities accounted for 9% of the production.

The main plantain varieties grown in Mexico are: giant dwarf, manzano, pear, Dominican, tabasco, valery, male, and purple plantain. Their geographical distribution depends on the agricultural and ecological conditions to which the different varieties are adapted.

Production in Colima
In 2015, Colima's planted area amounted to 5567.50 hectares, which yielded 179,819.65 tons of plantains worth 404,923,000 pesos. The main producing municipalities are: Tecoman ($269.4 million pesos, 66.5%), Manzanillo ($121.4 million pesos, 30%) and Armeria ($13.8 million pesos, 3.4%), which together account for 99.9% of the total value of this production.

The main plantain varieties cultivated in Colima are: Dwarf-Giant (95.9%), male (3.1%), Manzano (0.9%), Pear (0.1%) and Dominico (0.1%).

Marketing
Depending to the volume produced, much of the state's plantain production is destined for the local, national, or export markets. Table 1 highlights the main selling points of the plantains produced in Colima in the domestic markets located in wholesale centers in the country such as:- Aguascalientes' Agricultural Mall, Aguascalientes, Irapuato's Supply Center, Guanajuato, Guadalajara's Central Market and Felipe Angeles Market, Jalisco, Morelia's Central Market, Michoacan, Queretaro's Central Market, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi's Central Market, SLP, and Zacatecas' Supply Market, Zacatecas, showing the average annual retail price at certain wholesale supply centers during 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Exports
In recent years, Colima has mainly exported plantains to Los Angeles and San Diego, California, USA. Colima has also had small-scale exports to the EU, Japan, Canada, Russia, China and the UAE. Unfortunately there is no reliable updated data on the volume of exports to each destination market.

The smaller presence of Colima in the international plantain market is due to the discontinuity of its shipments and competitive disadvantages regarding its fruit quality. If Colima successfully develops an appropriate technology package to meet market requirements and maintains a constant and regular export volume for specific markets, Colima would most likely improve its position in these markets and plantain cultivation could become a new and interesting alternative for diversification for small farmers.

Colima's low productivity and quality issues are the result of a lack of a technological package that effectively controls plant health problems like the Black Sigatoka fungus, the plantain bacterium Moko, and other problems affecting plantations.

Export logistics and the availability of air and sea transport to properly address the different target markets, together with the volumes of product with export quality, are Colima's export supply's main constraints and one of the priority challenges that needs to be solved in the short term.

The challenge is to position Colima's plantain as a value-added product that meets national and international safety standards so as to supply the markets. This can be achieved by having an integral development through innovation to achieve sustainability.

Due to the economic and social importance of the plantain production in Colima, it's necessary to know how this fruit's market works; identifying the factors that influence supply and demand, and the mechanisms of price transmission in the market at different levels, including export prices.


Information from:
Enrique Álvarez Navarro
Teléfono 01 (312) 159 02 35
Móvil 312 183 95 43
 

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