Berry production grows in Jalisco

During the last years, the production of berries in Jalisco has grown and so has its participation in the national and international markets.

According to the Agro-Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), and with state data, during the last decade in Mexico more than 37 hectares of berries were planted, of which more than 10,400 are in Jalisco, which represents 28 % of the area dedicated to national production. With an estimated production of 950 thousand tons annually.

In this sense, Juan José Flores García, General Director of the National Association of Berry Exporters (Aneberries), has pointed out that now the industry's priority is caring for the environment and constant sustainability. “We are working on making the use of water more efficient, with technology that measures the humidity of the earth and the use of authorized and registered pesticides. Also, that the production of the berries occurs on land for agricultural use.”

"We are going to continue growing in these crops, especially in raspberries and blackberries. I think the blueberry will go down because there is more and more production and the demand has been maintained," said Andrés Canales Leaño, president of the Jalisco Agricultural Council.

In the State, 16 thousand 861 producers participate in the fruit and horticultural sector, with an approximate generation of two million tons of the 39.7 million generated in the country. In the Entity there are 103 thousand 246 hectares of crops; In the job creation category, it represents 194 direct jobs and 255 temporary jobs.

The production of berries at the national level generates more than 500 direct jobs in 22 states of the country and foreign exchange for two thousand 300 million dollars a year, with exports to 38 countries, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader). .

Jalisco, national leader in raspberry production

Jalisco occupies the first national place in the production of raspberries, since its demand continues to grow in export markets. After three decades since its introduction in Jalisco, it currently has 400 hectares.

The most important municipalities in production are: Zapotlán El Grande, Jocotepec, Zapotiltic, Tuxcueca, Sayula, Tuxpan, Tizapán, Zacoalco de Torres, Amacueca, Tala and Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, among others.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader Jalisco), through the General Directorate of Agricultural Development, provides support in specific programs, with technological packages, extension services, and the certification of small productive units.

In the municipality of Jocotepec, the production has already saturated the lands that have water availability for irrigation. The director of Rural Development of this municipality, Francisco Salazar Hernández, pointed out that the producers have had to rent land in other municipalities such as Mazamitla and Ciudad Guzmán.

The profitability of the crop, as also occurs with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, has been the key to expansion, substituting the sowing of traditional grains.

3 thousand hectares of blueberries

According to official figures from the Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), at the end of 2022 in the Jalisco countryside there were 2 hectares of blueberries.

In the Jalisco countryside, the trend towards blueberry plantations with larger-sized fruit also stands out, which responds to market demand. Among the large-calibre varieties, there are those called Atlas, Bianca, Madeira, Maldiva and Ventura.

There are two windows for the production and export of blueberries in Jalisco, now of jumbo caliber, in municipalities of the Valles region (Amatitán, Ahualulco, Ameca and Tala), in the South region (Ciudad Guzmán), in the new cultivation area in Totatiche in the north, and also in the Ciénega region (Ocotlán, La Barca and Poncitlán) and in the center (Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos).

“The area has increased in Mexico, the United States and Peru, which caused a drop in the price. Now berry growers have focused on organic raspberry production," he said. Andrés Canales Leaño, president of the Jalisco Agricultural Council.

Peru does not produce raspberries and blackberries, which represents an opportunity. Currently, the kilo of blueberries paid to producers is around seven dollars in Jalisco and around 10 dollars per kilo on the border, while raspberries sell for over 12 dollars.

Increases global demand

The future prospects for the cultivation and export of berries are very encouraging, since, among other things, their market price has presented a constant upward trend with the increase in demand worldwide. According to reports from the National Association of Berry Exporters (Aneberries), Mexican red berries reach more than 38 countries and there are around 350 exporters.

The main market for this crop is the United States, but a strategy is being worked on to expand its presence in South Korea, China and other Asian nations.s with the participation of Senasica. Work is also underway to expand its presence in the European Union.

Among the challenges for the future are the scarcity of water, as in all world agriculture, the reduction of labor, the efficiency of processes and the control of pests and diseases, among others.

Promote support to streamline agricultural production process 

The Program for the Promotion of Production and Technification of the Field of Jalisco has labeled 120 million pesos to provide support and reinforce the work of the agricultural sector, with the intention of making processes more efficient and improving production mechanisms. Last year 80 million were exercised in this scheme.

With the program for the promotion of production and modernization of the Jalisco countryside, it is intended to provide economic support to agricultural and aquaculture producers for the acquisition of machinery, equipment, biological material and infrastructure that optimize the use of their resources, enhancing their profitability .

For the cultivation of berries, the support is considered in productive projects for the modernization of the agricultural process with up to 300 thousand pesos for the purchase of minor infrastructure and resources for the acquisition of equipment and productive infrastructure. The program's operating rules were issued last February and are in the process of being applied.

The operating rules of the program for the promotion of production and modernization of the Jalisco countryside contain the process to which small and medium-sized producers must adhere.

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