Mexico's blackberry exports decline because of pests

A mite and a fly are responsible for the fall in exports of one of the most successful, Mexican blackberry berries.

In Michoacan, where 94 percent of the entire country's blackberry is produced, sales to the US have fallen 20 percent, said Jose Garcia, representative of the Sistema Producto Zarzamora de Michoacán

He explained that at present the US market demands one million boxes of 2.2 kilos each, but in October they were only able to send 800,000 boxes and in early November shipments fell to 500,000 boxes.

Exports have fallen because production has been damaged by pests like the redberry mite, which houses itself in the fruit, and the fruit fly Drosophila suzukii, which lays its eggs in the blackberry. These sometimes develop during the transfer into the border towns, so shipments are returned, explained Garcia.

Therefore, the state average production obtained, that used to be 6,000 boxes per hectare, is now only 3,000 cases, the representative noted.
The latest data available shows that national production was 123,091 tons in 2015, which meant a 20 percent decrease, according to the Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera (SIAP).

Because of this circumstance Mexico missed a robust income opportunity, as it distinguishes itself by having a considerable advantage throughout the export stages to the United States, as they are their principal seller, during an eight month period, i.e. from September to May the following year, while countries like Guatemala only market from May to July, Garcia said.


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