Yucatan seeks to certify its Persian lime production

Farmers look for international recognition to reach new markets

Limes are sold in a Yucatan market. Photo: Getty

Yucatan wants to certify the local production of Persian limes to promote the planting of this citrus in the state, as well as its export.

That means Persian limes from Yucatan would be labeled as specifically Yucatan Persian limes, the way Florida oranges are marketed.

Lime crops are cultivated all over Mexico, with Michoacan being the biggest producer.

The announcement was made by state Jose Bolio Garcia, the director of agriculture for the state Secretariat of Rural Development.

The official, who made a presentation about Certification Challenges and Commitments of Persian Lime Production, said that one of the main actions they needed to comply with was the certification program of orchards for export, according to the Product System’s Master Plan.

“Citriculture is very important for the entity, as it is Mexico’s fourth biggest producer of citrus fruits and the Persian lime is an important part of this offering,” he said.

He added that the state government, producers, packers and marketers would work together to strengthen their activities to promote the planting of citrus in the state, and seek international recognition to reach new markets.

In this framework, he said, they would hold a forum on Feb. 6 and 7 about the certification in the Superior Technological Institute of the South, in Oxkutzcab.

The lime market was turbulent in 2018.

“There was a short period of good prices at the start of summer. After that, the market collapsed. This was due to over production in both Mexico and Brazil. That resulted in very low prices,” said Elena Rogojnikova of Hagé International, a Dutch import-export company.

“The current market is more stable,” Rogojnikova continued. “This is, in part, due to the shortage of Brazilian limes. The new harvest is expected to arrive later this month. However, the price of €5,50-€6 for Mexican limes is low for this time of year.”

“The demand is expected to increase in November and December, leading up to Christmas. This rise in demand will be most welcome after the difficult last few months. The question remains as to whether last year’s price of about €12 is reachable. But, around €8–€9 is realistic,” Rogojnikova said.

Limes are one of the country’s most important citrus fruits, not only because of their use in Mexico’s cuisine, but also because of its production volume. Saudi Arabia is a potential buyer, as it imports around 121 thousand tons of this fruit per year.

Source: El Financiero with information from Notimex and Fresh Plaza

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