Mexico: Forest fires, potential strike threaten lemon harvests
Mexican lemon production is being threatened by drought and forest fires, which have destroyed almost 1,000 hectares of the crop, according to a Mexican newspaper El Sol de Acapulco.
"The situation of citrus producers is very complicated because a lemon factory in La Sabana isn't operating, so it isn't possible to market the product and the fruit that is collected is spoiling," Jorge Luna Sánchez, the President of the State Council of Lemons in Guerrero, was reported as saying.
Luna Sánchez warned that if the site wasn't opened by May 15, he will call on the 14,000 producers to protest and demand that they be acknowledged and provided with a solution.
The already-prepared demands include support with irrigation equipment, improved seed, fertilizer and insecticides to combat pests and that the production facility resumes its operations.
In the case that the demands are not met, he was reported as saying that they will throw the lemons on the road, as it is useless if they cannot process the fruit to be able to sell it.
Luna Sánchez also warned that all cargo transportation that its members operate will be stopped and the operators will join the protest. Because the product won't make it to market it is difficult for them to justify going to work.
Forest fires grow in the State of Guerrero
There has been a considerable increase in reports compared to last year with 129 fires and an average of 29,700 hectares affected, according to the Secretary of State Civil Protection, Marco César Mayares Salvador.
"Ninety to ninety-five percent of these forest fires have to do with human involvement and we have detected many with purposes to clear land in order to sell it, so we urge the city councils to comply with the law and its regulations for construction and urban development," he was reported as saying.
Mayares Salvador pointed out that the forest fire situation has become more critical this season and said that last year up until this date there were 98 fires with 10,900 hectares damaged.
This shows an additional 27 forest fires and six thousand hectares damaged.