Mexico's avocado heartland gains USDA export green light

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Mexico's avocado heartland gains USDA export green light

More than three quarters of the Mexican state of Michoacán's avocado plantations have gained U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certification as part of a bi-lateral export treaty, website reported.

About 75,000 hectares out of Michoacán's 105,000 hectares of avocado plantations gained the thumbs up, exceeding the previous season's approval rate.

A larger number of producers were able to improve the condition of their orchards proving absence of quarantine pests such screw-worms which in the past closed the Mexican market to the U.S. for 80 years.

Originally, certificates were organized annually but Mexico's Department of Agriculture (SAGARPA) and Department of Plant Health (DGSV) experts agreed this should be done twice a year.

They are keen to avoid any possible export delays, given more than 300,000 metric tons (MT) of avocados are shipped to the U.S. a year.

Field testers cut branches and dissect fruit to check they are free from screw-worm infestations and that orchards are enclosed and free from weeds.

More than 95% of proposed avocado orchards proposed for certification have met requirements with the aim that in 10 years' time all plantations will make the grade.

The Association of Avocado Producers and Exporters of Michoacán (APEAM) will play an important role in achieving this goal.

Related stories: Big leap for Mexican fruit exports in 2011

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