Michoacán is considered the largest producer of Hass avocados from Mexico and the world. This privileged region has the ideal climatic conditions to grow avocados as its temperatures range between 16 ºC and 25 ºC.
"We have a rainy season that goes from May to September and then we have a dry period, however our soils, which have the minerals needed by the avocado, easily retain moisture, so the crop isn't stressed or caused suffering due to a lack of water," said engineer Agustin Sanchez, from the Coliman Avocados Company.
The company works directly with over 5,000 independent producers who commercialize their Hass avocado via the Coliman Group.
"The crop area in Michoacan is very large. There are 140,000 hectares dedicated to the production of Hass, where the altitude ranges from 1,500 to 2,400 meters. We start the harvest in the lower areas in June and ended it in the highest areas in April of the following year. This allows us to supply our customers throughout the whole year," Sanchez said.
Even though the United States is the largest buyer of Mexican avocados, as its imports exceed 500,000 tons annually, Coliman supplies the domestic market and exports conventional and organic avocados to major destinations such as Spain, France, Canada, Central America, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
"Each market has its requirements but the Japanese market is the one with the highest level of demands. It's a cultural issue, the fruits reaching that market must present an aesthetically perfect appearance," he said.
Regarding the Chinese market, Sanchez said: "Demand for our avocado is increasing. This year, we noticed a very special increase in consumption in China, where we are already sending between 500 and 1,000 tons per week."
According to Sanchez, this campaign's production is expected to be 10% higher than last season's campaign, so it will exceed the 1,300,000 tons.
"This increase in production is due to the increase in production area. There are more producers and new farms. However, we haven't improved in the technological area as much as the Chileans have, for example," Sanchez said.
The vast majority of Mexican producers don't feel the need to make large investments in technology for their production because of the favourable climatic and hydrological conditions and the relatively low cost of land; a reality that is very different in countries like Peru or Chile.
"The Chilean culture is established in areas that are not as appropriate as Michoacán, they must apply sophisticated technologies for irrigation and pest control. But we must improve our productivity. Chile achieves yields of up to 30 tons per hectare, while the national average in Mexico is around 9 tons. The demand is growing very fast. The day that all the people in China consume avocado is the day we'll have to start working harder and make every inch of land produce to the maximum."
Ing. Agustín Sánchez RamírezColiman Avocados
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