Tupy blackberry, at risk due to lack of interest in its production

The Tupy blackberry free variety, which until a few years ago was the most produced in most of the orchards of the Los Reyes valley, in Michoacan, is no longer the variety preferred by some of the leading companies in the export of berries. 

Worker harvesting and packing blackberries. Female hands are more adequate for the collection of blackberry. Photo TLANI

Currently, the Tupy variety isn't being cultivated in Jalisco because producers have decided to invest in new varieties that have a wider commercial window, greater production volumes, and much better prices.

According to a blog by Jess Valencia, who specializes in Mexican agriculture, the Driscoll's company released a video in which Gavin Sills, of Global Plant Breeding, speaks about the spectacular blackberry production that Mexico has had in the center of the country in recent years. "Currently, the Tupy variety competes in the market with other varieties patented by themselves, which have outperformed it, and that have increased their presence in Jalisco in the last years," he stated.

TUPY blackberry orchard without macro-tunnels and irrigations systems in Michoacan. Foto TLANI

After having compared the agricultural practices of blackberry production in Jalisco and Michoacan, David Aguilar, head of operations of the agricultural advisory TLANI, stated "Mexico's berry cultivation started in Michoacan, thanks to its favorable climate, abundant water, and soil richness. At that time, the variety that fulfilled the export conditions was the TUPY variety, which also had a production cost per hectare of no more than 400 thousand pesos."

Tuyp blackberry orchard without macro-tunnels and irrigation systems in Michoacan. Photo TLANI.

Over time, according to Valencia, "the market became more demanding and Mexico had a problem placing the Tupy blackberry abroad due to the new varieties that came from California, so companies like Driscoll's decided to open the market with new producers, eliminating the Tupy blackberry variety and working with other varieties such as the Dasha, Vanesa, Catherine, and BQ varieties." 

DASHA blackberry crops of the DRISCOLL'S company in Mexico

In time, the Tupy variety declined and Michoacan is currently in serious trouble due, in large part, to the proliferation of the Fusarium Oxyporum fungus. This, however, hasn't been a problem for the producers from Jalisco, as they decided to invest in new agricultural technology and new varieties.

The CATHERINE blackberry variety, which is produced in the center of Mexico, was patented by DRISCOLL'S and its value, brix degrees, and production volume surpass that of the TUPY free variety that is grown in Michoacan.

According to David Aguilar Montoya, one of the biggest advantages that the blackberry fields in Jalisco have is they are less prone to being affected by natural disasters because producers have made an investment in macro tunnels, which allow producers to achieve a higher quality, size, and production.

To see the blog, click here.

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