The demand for Mexican habanero peppers in the United States, Europe, and Asia has increased because its particular properties are used in different sectors, such as the food, medicine, and telecommunications sectors. They are even used to manufacture personal defense items.
This crop has been successful and has recently obtained the Denomination of Origin of Yucatan thanks to the word carried out by researchers from the National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock Research (INIFAP), who through the Chili Genetic Improvement Program, developed the Jaguar and Mayapan varieties in the Las Huastecas experimental fields in southern Tamaulipas and Mococha.
The high demand for this chili and its high value are related to its accelerated growth. A decade ago there were 950 hectares planted with habanero chile, today there are around 1,400 hectares, 80% of which are cultivated with the Jaguar and Mayapan varieties.
Crops throughout the country
In addition to the Yucatan Peninsula, the planting of habanero pepper has spread in greenhouse areas in the Altiplano, and Baja California Peninsula (San Quintin Valley), as well as an open field crop in Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Colima, and Nayarit. The crop bears fruit at a low altitude of up to 800 meters above sea level and can thrive in a wide range of soils.
The Jaguar variety stands out for its tolerance to bacterial stain, a critical problem in the Gulf of Mexico strip. It is also tolerant to powdery mildew, a problem in this region and in temperate areas of the country's Altiplano; and the leaf miner, a plague in the coastal areas of the country. In addition, this variety reaches between 210,000 and 340,000 Scoville units.
INIFAP produces seeds in different categories. The Yucatan Chili Product System purchases seeds from registered categories in order to reproduce them and deliver certified seeds to producers.