The scent of damp earth and fresh resin from pine trees and oaks in the air of Michoacán. The nature of the Western state of Mexico, vibrating tones in rich Green. The most lucrative Green is a fruit: the Avocado.
Michoacán is one of the largest producers. For the growing areas of the global Boom of the Avocado brings not only revenue, but also environmental problems.
According to the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) increased the number of the world’s harvested hectares of Avocado from 2006 to 2016, with 381,000 on 564.000 ha. The biggest part of it comes from Mexico, where it was grown originally. Now the endless rows of avocado trees, unit like an army on the fields around the city of Uruapan.
about 200,000 hectares have been cultivated in the past year, almost two million tons of Avocados. And the area continues to grow. The Mexican biologist Arturo Chacón Torres, founder of the citizens Association of the Academia Mexicana de Impacto Ambiental, said that the planted areas extend further and further into forests and mountains.
It is estimated that in the Region between 600 and 1000 hectares of forest per year are destroyed to change the land use. Many small wood scraps as traces of deforestation. In addition, the fruit needs a lot of attention to grow properly, especially water.
In the Region there are many small Avocado growers – some of them work illegally. Mexican authorities this year, some of the small producers seal, cutting down the illegal pine trees, to take advantage of the area for the cultivation of Avocados.
environmental pollution and crime
to be led According to a Mexican study from the year 2012, which was given by the government in order, the increase in the production of the fruit to a loss of species diversity and also to environmental pollution and soil erosion. In addition, he is a threat to the natural water cycle, and the endemic – only living in the area – types.
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“We are trying to find a balance that allows us to get the benefits and source of income and more sustainable forms of production to develop,” said Ramon Paz Vega, a spokesman for the Association of Avocado producers and exporters of Mexico (Apeam). The Association maintains a reforestation program.
According to estimates by the Mexican Ministry of agriculture, the global demand for Avocados is expected to rise from 2017 to 2030 to 48,98%. Thus, an increase in the global consumption of 2.84 to 4.24 million tons per year go hand in hand.
The Avocado Boom passed in Mexico, not in the powerful cartels – organized crime stretched out the Finger in accordance with the “green Gold”. The producers were threatened by members of the Band, and kidnapped. Then the Avocado farmers-defense groups formed, and even the Federal police intervened in Mexico. The Problem has decreased since then, but still.
In Israel is booming, the Avocado trade
However, Mexico is not with the problems of increased demand for the fruit alone. Also in Israel the to trade with Avocados is booming, the demand exceeds since many years the facilities on offer. In the past year, were produced, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, more than 110,000 tons of Avocado, and some 65,000 tons were exported. A steady increase: in 2016, 101.000 tons were produced, and 47,000 tons were exported.
The first Avocado trees in this Region were brought around a century ago, in Palestine. The green fruit are now grown in Israel, according to the local fruit producers ‘ Association on 8500 acres of Land. Avocados are an integral part of the Israeli cuisine – and the average consumption, annually, at five pounds per head.
Given the high demand and huge profits, more and more farmers in Israel to enlarge the Avocado-growing areas. They displaced about fruit-growing areas of citrus, says Marcelo Sternberg, a Professor of plant ecology from the University of Tel Aviv. A potential Problem that he sees: “Avocado trees need lots of water.” For a Kilo of Avocado around 600 litres would be consumed water.
In Israel, would cast the trees with treated wastewater, says Sternberg. There is concern that harmful Nano-could penetrate the particles out of the water in the fruits. Watering with recycled water may permanently damage the floor, says Sternberg. “In nature nothing is in vain.”
South Africa produces 120,000 tons of Avocado
And the Avocado Boom has also reached South Africa, especially in the North-Eastern provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, where a warm and subtropical climate dominates, is to grow the cultivated area since the turn of the Millennium, steadily; each year, around 1,000 hectares.
South Africa produced in 2017, around 120,000 tons of Avocado per year, such as the Association of avocado farmers explained. Ten years earlier, there were only 74,000 tons. Without artificial irrigation, the cultivation would also be in South Africa not possible.
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Bert gamer dash cf/Amelie Richter / REUTERS