By Francisco Seva Rivadulla
According to Bernardo Bravo, president of the National Committee of the Mexican Lemon Product System, Mexican lemons are produced on more than 90,000 hectares distributed in the states of Michoacán, Colima, Oaxaca and Guerrero.
Regarding the challenges facing this sector, Bravo points out that “global phytosanitary alerts regarding citrus growing are increasingly latent and present in most of the citrus-growing areas of this country. Undoubtedly, pests and diseases are a major challenge to face for our sector in the short and medium term.”
Another problem he points out is that due to competition, prices can be below the cost of production. “The so-called lost sales are a reality in this country,” says Bravo, adding that a constant supply without orders is not beneficial for members of the supply chain.
“There is no country in the world that consumes more lemons than Mexico, and our product is very well positioned with quality, flavor and distinction. Of our entire production, around 15% will be exported to international markets,” Bravo says.
The main needs of the Mexican lemon sector, in Bravo’s opinion, are to improve production costs, increase the presence of advertising campaigns in the United States, and obtain more information and training to comply with global safety standards in a practical and producer-friendly manner.
“The future of the Mexican lemon is moving toward the professionalization of the field. We have one of the largest productive areas of this country where irrigation is completely mechanized. We have the technical equipment to maintain healthy trees and fruit, and we have producers committed and willing to maintain their way of life to generate added value to each producing region,” says Bravo. “But we are also afraid of an excessive oversupply for ourselves, and the presence of more and more pests and diseases.”
Francisco Seva Rivadulla is an international agri-food journalist.