Michoacan consolidated itself as the leading Mexican region in the cultivation of blackberries, generating 96.5% of the country's total production. In the first half of 2019, the state harvested 170,242 tons of blackberries, i.e. 4.1% more than in the same period of 2018.
Ruben Medina Niño, the head of the Ministry of Rural and Agricultural Food Development (Sedrua) in Michoacan, said that part of the success of blackberry and other crops that also increased production in 2019 was due to the state's implementation of sustainable agriculture programs for the improvement of productions.
This year 6,700 hectares of blackberry, lemon, and corn were integrated into the Sustainable Agriculture Program and the quality of their crops improved. As a result of the program's success, there already are producers of lentil, guava, strawberry, and mango waiting to join it.
The agency has worked to increase the land devoted to blackberry, as well as to optimize its performance and take care of the phytosanitary aspect. According to the Agricultural Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), up until July 2018, there were 11,900 hectares in Michoacan allocated for the cultivation of this berry, which yielded a total of 163,521 tons, i.e. 14.6 tons per hectare. In 2019, there are 12,257 hectares that produced 170,242 tons and yield 15 tons per hectare.
According to the forecasts of the Sedrua and the University of Chapingo, the use of sustainable agriculture will increase production by up to 20% in the crops where it has been used this year. Thus, they expect that with the passage of time and with more farmers joining, there will be an important leap in quality and quantity of blackberry, lemon, and corn. However, a full evaluation of the program will only be made in December.