In an interview, agronomist Eddy Martinez -the Founding Partner and current General Manager in Guatemala of the Distribuidora de Frutas Tropicales SA (DFT), Agroindustrias del Tropico SA (AGROTROPIC), and Fresh and Frozen Foods SA (frozen products) companies, and current president of the Research and Industry Relations Committee of the NMB- spoke about the important work carried out by the National Mango Board to increase the consumption of mangoes in the United States.
The National Mango Board adds great value to the sector
According to Engineer Eddy Martinez, the National Mango Board adds great value to the mango industry. “The board has carried out very important research work on topics related to nutrition and health, with prestigious universities in the US. There has also been very important research to solve some problems in the postharvest handling of mango; which has directly benefited the producers in the field."
Mango in Guatemala
“Guatemala's mango industry had been increasing its planting area at a 10% rate a year. We currently have about 5,000 hectares planted with mango for export and for the local market. During the last 3 to 4 years this growth has stagnated mainly because of the decrease in the harvest due to the effects of climate change in the main producing areas of the country. More than 50% of the area planted with mango does not have irrigation. This has discouraged some producers to continue growing. However, this problem has also motivated and forced us to improve the agronomic management of the orchards, mainly with the implementation of drip and micro-sprinkler irrigation systems. This will improve the productivity and profitability of the crop.”
Effects of COVID-19
“At the beginning of the harvest, from the first days of March until mid-April, COVID-19 had a very strong negative impact on the sector. Sales and exports decreased due to the closure of some businesses and the confinement of a large part of the population in the US. Fortunately, sales and shipments from our packing plants began to improve starting the first week of April and during the month of May, but the harvest was already ending.”
“Due to its geographic position and proximity to the US market, Guatemala exports more than 80% of its mango production to the US. We also export to the Netherlands, Spain, England, and France. Three years ago, the Government of Chile approved the protocol to export mangoes from Guatemala to that country. We have high expectations for this market, as the consumption of fresh mango in Chile is growing,” he added.
For more information:
National Mango Board