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Mexico: 50% of strawberries damaged by cold weather

The chairman of the National Peasant Confederation (CNC), Arturo Contreras Hernandez, announced that nearly 800 hectares of the 1,600 hectares of strawberries planted in Irapuato suffered heavy damage due to the rains and cold at the beginning of the year. Producers expect they will recover this loss with a new planting. He added that the rain and cold had also caused damages to vegetables, such as the lettuce and radish from Irapuato.

"We're at the mercy of the weather. It's something that can't be prevented. In early January there was some damage caused by the cold," he said.

Hernandez Contreras said the strawberries had been affected during their flowering stage, when the orchards in Irapuato had started to produce fruits.

Producers expect the weather will be better
"The water and cold rots the strawberry so it can't be marketed. Fortunately it has not been so cold and the production is advancing, there are many producers that are beginning to reap. We hope that, these days, the weather is going to be better and it'll start to be a little hotter," he said.

The hectares affected were in the communities of Carrizal Grande, Cuarta Brigada, La Mocha, La Soledad, Purisima de Covarrubias, El Romeral, San Cristobal and San Javier. 

No government support 
"The remaining 800 hectares have macro-tunnels, micro-tunnels, and other technologies that protect them from the rain, hail and other weather conditions. The hectares affected have traditional crops so they were more affected, but fortunately they are recovering," he said.

None of the three levels of government has provided support to the producers concerned, so the only thing that the farmers can do is re-invest in their crops.

"There has been no support from any of the three levels of government, all the CNC can do is talk with producers about the contingencies, the pests, and tell them to get advise from the agencies responsible for agricultural issues," concluded the president of the National Peasant Confederation, Arturo Contreras Hernandez.


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