Mexico: The fig, fruit with opportunities in extreme climates

The fig is one of the few fruits that adapt to extreme weather conditions, it even benefits from those kinds of weather conditions.

It is a fruit that requires periods of high solar radiation for the fruit to grow.
In addition, cold hours are needed annually for optimal development and fruit quality. Also, their water requirements are minimal and is tolerant to salinity and drought. It is worth pointing out that the more you limit to plant´s water resources, the sweeter the fruit will be.

According to data from the Información Agroalimentaria de Consulta (Siacon), the area that was planted for figs nationally in 2011 was 1,302 hectares. The average yield for the country is of 4.5 tons per hectare.

Meanwhile, the area planted shows an increase of 3.0% of the annual rate during the 2002-2011 period.

Entities such as Morelos and Baja California Sur concentrate 65.3% and 21.4% of the national area planted, respectively.

In 2011, 3,641 tonnes were produced, a volume which is considered small compared to the potential demand of international markets, mainly the United States, Canada and the European Union. These countries demand fresh or processed product. For domestic fig producers, another market has been identified for positioning the
product - Asia.

According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, (SAGARPA), white fig producers from the areas of Vizcaíno Valley in Baja California Sur have exported an initial volume of 400 tons to China and Australia this year.

The price paid to producers in Baja California Sur (64,338 pesos per ton) is higher than the rest of the country (11,072 pesos per ton on average) because it is a pest-free declared zone, they have been able to export to different markets.

Finally, another favorable aspect of this fruit production is the leading organization of fig producers, especially in the northwest of the country, which has enabled them to achieve economies of scale, standardize production and development of small agro-industries that collect the fruit and make it into jams, sweets or in syrup, sending these products to domestic and international markets.

Source: Eleconomista

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