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Mexico: New pesticide for avocados

Michoacan has its own formula to control pests in avocados. It was created from the research performed by the National Metrology Centre, with the support of the Conacyt Joint Fund. 

With this formula, producers will be able to increase their product's quality and ensure its permanence in the international market. 

CENAM, through the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technological Development, gave the Michoacan Center for Innovation and Agricultural Development (CIDAM) 400 units of different compositions of the pesticide, which was prepared in accordance with the characteristics of the avocado from Michoacan, to ensure its safety and health. 

According to Yoshito Mitani Nakanishi, technical manager of CENAM, it took researchers and 13 laboratories two years to obtain the formula of this pesticide that is specifically tailored for Michoacan; a formula that they plan to patent.

The avocado is Michoacan's flagship and icon, as this state contributes 8.5 out of every 10 tons of avocados that Mexico produces, i.e. 85.9 percent. Michoacan produces over 1,100,000 tons of avocados per year.

Mexico exports 1.3 million tons per year, contributing 30.9 percent of the national total.

According to Jose Luis Montañez Espinoza, the head of the Sicdet, Mexico exports 3 out of every 10 tons traded in the world, i.e. 4.4 times more than Indonesia.

The main markets for Mexican avocados, and especially for the avocados from Michoacan, are the United States and Japan. Mexican producers aspire to export their avocados to other markets, such as Latvia and Australia, among others. 

The avocado is a strategic product for Michoacan, which is why they are seeking to strengthen its certification through scientific and applied research to combat pests that affect the avocado trees and fruits.

According to the head of Sicdet, one of the sector's challenges is to strengthen the avocado's value chain. Montañez Espinozas also said that the objective of this research had been to develop and certify pesticide in avocado reference materials to strengthen the laboratories that perform measurements, to ensure the safety of Mexican exports and domestic consumption.

This was done by using the laboratories' reference tools and by performing proficiency testing with values traceable to the International Units System.

He also stressed that the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technological Development (Sicdet) found it very important to promote Michoacan's agricultural sector to generate changes in its agricultural produce's added value, so as to generate greater development for the entity.

Considering the scenario of a globalized economy, he added, one can't help but notice that having continuous technological innovation processes and linkages between academia and the productive sector, which were key factors for the success of this scientific research, is indispensable.

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