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Rains credited for healthy citrus crop this year

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Citrus crops are in high demand so far this year. Photo: Getty
Citrus crops are in high demand so far this year. Photo: Getty

Members of the Union of Citrus Growing Ejidos from Yucatán expect to harvest more than 400,000 tons of different varieties of citrus fruits before the end of this year.

And weather conditions have been so favorable, farmers are harvesting their crops early.

“There are more than 15,000 farmers between the southern cone and the eastern area who are currently dedicated to producing citrus crops and, thanks to the good rainy season we’ve had, many crops are advanced,” said the president of the association, Luis Cetina Garcia. Most the citrus-producing ejidos are these parts of the peninsula.

“We are talking about sweet and sour oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and limes that will supply the local market’s demand and that could even be marketed in others states that haven’t had a good harvest,” he said.

Juguera de Akil, the juice processing plant in Akil, Yucatan.
Juguera de Akil, the juice processing plant in Akil, Yucatán.

Farmers usually start harvesting in October but sometimes have to wait until November, but this year, producers had started the harvest in September because of the unusually favorable rainy season.

As a result, producers consider it is possible they may achieve 400,000 tons of products, surpassing the 350,000 tons achieved in 2015, which was also a positive year for the local citrus production.

He said that the juicer from Akil Juguera, Yucatan’s main citrus processing plant 100 km south of Mérida, had already started to approach producers to purchase their crops, and that the initial price would be 1,300 pesos per ton, or 100 pesos more than the initial offer from last year.

The product purchased by the juicer is used to produce concentrated citrus juices that are sold mainly to the German and U.S. markets, he said.

Video: The Akil juice processing plant.

Source: Notimex

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