Mexico to expand jocote market
Jocote cultivation has gained the support of the Mexican government, which sees the plum-style fruit as a 'savior' for farmers faced with the challenge of growing produce in parts of the country suffering soil erosion.
It said it would be supporting existing growers by offering training and helping them find new markets for the fruit, which is already popular in central America and the Caribbean.
The government has promised to throw its weight behind the 'Producers Jocote of the Central Valley of Chiapas, Rural Production Company Limited'.
Currently there are 457 growers in Acala, Chiapilla, Totolapa and Luke municipalities, covering 3,426 hectares producing about 5,000 metric tons (MT) of jocote.
The US is seen as a possible market because of its large ethnic communities from that part of the world. However, one potential marketing hurdle the Mexican government may have to overcome is the variety of names the fruit has in different countries.
The fruit, which has a thin skin that is purple-red or yellow when ripe, has juicy acidic flesh and can be eaten as a fruit, squeezed and drunk as a juice, made into jam or jelly, and can be bought fresh, frozen or in brine.