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Mexico: Avocado from Jalisco awaiting order to enter US

The head of the Ministry Rural Development (Seder) of Jalisco, Hector Padilla, said that Jalisco should start exporting avocados directly to the United States in a matter of weeks because the state already complied with all of the requirements imposed by the United States' Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"We've been complying with all the requirements made by the United States since October last year and the people from SAGARPA and the Ministry of Economy representing our Government in this negotiation closed it last November. We are expecting the announcement of authorization for Jalisco to export avocados to the United States to be made at any moment at the beginning of this year," the official said.

Michoacan is the only state authorized
So far, the producers of avocado from Jalisco export their product to the US through companies based in the neighboring state of Michoacan, as it currently is the only state that can make direct export of this fruit to that country.

According to statistics from Seder, Jalisco currently has 8,600 hectares certified for export in 12 municipalities of the state. However, according to experts, once exports to the United States are authorized many producers will convert their less profitable crops to avocado crops.

"We currently have 8,600 certified hectares. In March 2013 there were 1,500 certified hectares in two municipalities. The opening of the US market will attract many producers. It is a crop for which there is an expectation of many years of market penetration and certainly at good prices," said Padilla Gutierrez.

The most productive area in the world
Even though Michoacan is currently the leading global producer of avocado and accounts for 80% of Mexico's production, the head of Seder said Jalisco had the highest productivity per hectare in the world.

The state official stated that the use of technology and innovation in avocado crop in the state Jalisco had allowed producers to harvest up to 25 tons per hectare, while the top producers in Michoacan only harvested up to 18 tons per hectare.

"We have an exceptional productivity with an enviable quality," said Hector Padilla.

However, according to the Association of Producers and Exporters of Avocado from Jalisco (Apeajal), even with the permission of the United States, Jalisco producers need to work on internal factors of their businesses, such as traceability and controlling the mobilization of the fruit so they can take advantage of the opening of the US market.

There are some 3,000 producers in Jalisco and in 2015 they harvested more than 120,000 tons of avocado, 40,000 of which were exported, mainly to Japan and Canada.

The municipalities that are certificated to export avocados are Farias, Zapotlán Great, Zapotiltic, Concepción de Buenos Aires, Mazamitla, Sayula, Tapalpa, La Manzanilla de la Paz, San Gabriel, and the Juarez Valley, in the south of Jalisco, as well as the recently added Arandas and Valle de Guadalupe, from the region of los Altos.

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