Vietnam, China, and Indonesia account for more than 90% of the world's pitahaya production, a fruit that is expected to have a 3.9% annual growth rate in the next 5 years, according to Mordor Intelligence reports.
In Latin America, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are competing suppliers of the United States, which imported pitahaya for 19.9 million dollars in 2020, according to the Trade Map portal. Honduras is just a few steps away from being included in that select group.
In the last four years, Honduras has promoted pitahaya production in its Dry Corridor, a strip of land that crosses Central America from Mexico to Panama, thanks to its high tolerance to drought.
As a result of different projects, farmers have managed to place production in national supermarket chains. The next step for the item is to enter the US market.
Earlier this week, representatives of the Association of Pitahaya Producers of Southern Honduras spoke with SAG authorities. They requested the SAG follow up on the work plan for the crop certification protocol for the United States market, in accordance with the criteria of the National Agri-Food Health Safety Service (Senasa).
According to Wilson Galo, Honduras has 30 hectares of pitahaya production ready for certification that would allow them to enter the US market and Europe, where -two years ago- fruit imports exceeded 37 million dollars (Trade Map). However, the national sector expects to increase the pitahaya production area to more than 200 hectares. "In the south alone there are 118.5 hectares that will be planted in the next three years," Galo added. The rest is between Talanga, Francisco Morazan, and another part in the northern part of Honduras.
"There is a great projection of growth, but we need the farms to be certified to ensure that they are registered with Senasa and have the legal documentation that every crop needs to enter the international market from the start," stressed the director of the National Association of Producers of Pitahaya.