Melon producers are in crisis. Jesus Zarate Martinez, who is engaged in this activity in the municipality of Matamoros, said the price of melons had dropped because of the rains that had occurred in other states of the Pacific and because of the disorganization to market the product.
"The problem is that we don't have a well established structure to sell melons, everyone sells them in their own way. The coyotes aren't the problem, they do not force us to sell," he said.
In late September, he said, the melon was being sold at 7 pesos per kilo and then, eight days ago, the price dropped and it now fluctuates between 3 and 4 pesos. This represents a considerable loss for producers, as they are unable to recover half of the initial investment for producing melon, which ranges between 50,000 and 70,000 pesos.
"Right now the problem is that there are few buyers because sales are low and there is more competition; for example, a truck load has about 20 tons, it gets to the store and is able to sell some of its fruit, but not all of it," he said.
Zarate Martinez said the late melon is currently very expensive in terms of production costs.
He also said people were very interested in opening up new areas for cultivation and that, logically, the investment was lower because the land was very rich.
He also stated that one of the factors affecting them was the proliferation of pests, which didn't cause them to lose all of their production but lowered its quality.
"When we don't rotate crops the lands are infested by pests and we have to invest a good amount of money in fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides and that increases production costs," he stressed.
He said the government was very interested in the production of melon and had expressed its support for the melon-producing sector. However, he said, he considered those resources were not being well distributed among producers. According to him, farmers were taught to produce but were not given guidance to market.
"I have my melons, I bring them here to sell them, but it is difficult for me to do it because I do not know what the current price is and I have to ask around. There's a lack of organization," he said.