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Tons of pitaya to be shipped to Asia

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Officials are aiming to increase pitaya production to expand exports, benefiting rural farmers. Photo: Getty
Officials are aiming to increase pitaya production to expand exports, benefiting rural farmers. Photo: Getty

At least 45 tons of pitaya — dragon fruit, to some people — will be shipped from Yucatan to the Asian market this year, state agriculture officials said.

Pablo Castro Alcocer, local delegate of SAGARPA, said the goal for the second half of 2016 was to finalize the sale of 45 tons of pitahaya, also known as dragon fruit, and other fruits, which will strengthen local marketing.

He said that they were currently working with farmers so that they completely comply with health and quality processes that would help potentiate endemic products, such as dragon fruit, mamey, and soursop.

“We are currently in the production process and we are waiting for the first results, to ensure they comply with the safety and certification processes required for export and thereby accompany producers to export their products,” he said.

He said that last year they had managed to export 30 tons of dragon fruit produced in 35 hectares in Tixpeual to the United States, as they had achieved an excellent result in safety and quality.

He also said that they wanted to expand the market with mamey and soursop, which are in great demand in the European and Asian markets, mainly in China and Japan.

Once the fruit passes through all of the certification process, he said, they will begin working on the packaging to export.

“The way is open, now we have to make sure producers meets requirements and see what volume will be exported,” he told Sipse.

The official said it was very important that small local producers market their products abroad because it would help activate the state’s economy and strengthen the fields of Yucatán.

In 2014, the 400 tons of pitaya generated close to 90 million pesos to the local economy.

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