Hail damage to Mexican avocados predicted to be worth more than 2 billion pesos
Juan Manuel Bermúdez Aguilar, who is the coordinator of the Local Plant Health Board in Santa Ana Zirosto, preliminarily estimated that last Wednesday’s hailstorm in the community, located within the municipality of Uruapan, will have economic effects that will cost the avocado production sector more than 2 billion pesos.
According to an article by El Universal, he said that the census carried out in the orchards demonstrated that almost 2000 hectares were completely devastated by the hail, and others were partially damaged.
He explained that every hectare produces nearly 10 tons of avocados destined for exportation and one kilo is sold at up to 100 pesos. The losses are therefore predicted to be worth millions.
Bermúdez Aguilar indicated that it is a large loss, mainly for the local community which depends almost totally on avocados, as well as for growers.
He calculated that nearly 5000 jobs which are directly or indirectly linked to avocados, will be hampered due to the hail affecting not just the avocados themselves, but also trees and leaves.
Víctor Vargas Sánchez, who is a grower from Santa Ana Zirosto, has begun fumigation and sanitation of 10 hectares of avocado trees that were damaged by the hailstorm, using a mixture of copper, lime and adhesives. He says it will take two years to see them producing once again.
“Well look, after the hailstorm, we have had to work very hard. This is no longer any good”, he expressed as he pointed to the damaged trees.
Victor said that the damage caused to nearly 10 hectares of avocados means he will lose 70 percent of his assets.
He claimed that although he will have to stop the majority of his work, he will continue to pay his workers’ salaries and as the owner, he must bear the costs of rebuilding his orchards.
Therefore, he asked for local and state authorities to provide support to the avocado production sector that was so greatly affected by the natural phenomenon.
In the meantime, Vargas Sánchez outlined that he will find a way to request some kind of loan to cover the costs of starting up his orchards again.