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Mexico promoting the production of berries

In 2011, Mexico produced almost 400,000 tonnes of berries (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and blueberry), valued at 7,019 million pesos. It is the sixth largest strawberry producer worldwide (229,000 tonnes) and the third most important exporter of this fruit.

The country has the right climatic, productive and sanitary conditions for the growing, processing and trading of berries, due to which the government is seeking to promote the production of these crops, which represent a great potential in Mexico for the creation of jobs and the opening of new markets.

This was said by the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, Francisco Mayorga Castañeda, who pointed out that a determining factor for the promotion of public policies in favour of this sector is its great capacity to create specialised jobs. From 100,000 to 200,000 direct jobs are expected to be created annually, which truly has an impact on the sector.

During the closing ceremony of the "Second International Berries Congress of Mexico: For sustainable production 2012", Mayorga Castañeda said that the development of protected horticulture always brings fast growth and the opening of new markets, so it will be necessary to continue coordinating the actions of producers, industry and authorities to increase the value added.

He highlighted that in the case of berries, there are also schemes, support and components for the development of new technologies and the building of more and better infrastructure, such as irrigation systems, protected agriculture (there is a surface of 3,100 hectares in macro tunnels) and specialised transport, as well as financing schemes.

Some of the challenges ahead for the sector include making projections for the production surfaces to avoid oversupply, promoting the consumption of berries and strengthening financial support based on reliable statistics regarding surface, technologies, costs and prices.

He explained that the proximity to the northern countries and the great variety of climates in the nation are factors which must be considered advantages, without forgetting that putting an effort on food safety is essential to obtain trust from the markets.

He stressed the fact that events such as this one, in which specialists from different areas come and work together, set the path for the development and consolidation of markets and confirm that the agri-food sector can offer great opportunities for economic development.

According to figures from the Agri-food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), in the past 10 years the annual production of berries has multiplied by 2.7.

Source: Sagarpa

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