Mexico: 8,000 acres of citrus have been abandoned due to the crisis

About 8,000 acres of citrus have been abandoned and are unproductive due to a lack of resources which is why it's urgent that the support to the sector be authorized, said the president of the Regional Emiliano Zapata Citrus Union, Javier Ibarra Echartea.

"Producers have been severely hit by the fall in prices that has kept a tonne of oranges at 700 pesos ($53.68 dollars) for the past two years, a situation that was exacerbated by the lack of rain."

He added that this situation has been exacerbated by the lack of credit by the banks, which refuse to lend to farmers who are unable to cover the guarantees required to provide this support.

"This has caused a decrease in the citrus activity because, out of more than 44,000 productive hectares in the state, more than 26,000 do not have the necessary inputs to improve production, such as fertilizers and pesticides."

Thus, he said, the lands aren't producing at their full capacity, they should be producing 20 tonnes of oranges but are currently only producing between 12 and 13 tonnes.

He said that about 20,000 hectares are in the hands of the social sector and that these are the ones having the most trouble producing, as they don't have the means.

"Our organization has held a series of meetings with state authorities to seek alternative solutions to the various problems faced by growers for producing and marketing oranges," said Ibarra.

"We've also told state authorities that we need financial support to purchase fertilizers and other implements that are required."

He added that they had even sought support for producers via the CNC to enable them to export without any problems as well as to be able to purchase the agricultural implements they need to perform this activity.

"One of the goals set between growers from both the social and private sector is to make the citrus region more productive, like it was thirty years ago and thus achieving higher profits allowing them to fill or cover expenses of their pending debts," he said.


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