The seventh National Search Brigade begins in Morelos

They ask to investigate the excessive increase in the avocado cultivated area

Angelica Enciso L.

Newspaper La Jornada
Tuesday February 7, 2023, p. eleven

In Michoacán, the cultivated area of ​​avocado doubled between 2017 and 2021, going from 148,000 to 300,000 hectares, a figure only comparable to the increase that occurred in 11 years, between 2006 –when there were 83,000 hectares of orchards– and 2017 , indicates a petition for investigation filed by a citizen with the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

With data from the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers (Apeam) and from academics, he points out that this expansion of the cultivated area occurs at the expense of forest land and Mexico is omitting the protection of forest and water resources in Michoacán, the main producing entity of the fruit.

The request for an investigation under the TMEC points out that Mexico has not respected provisions of the Constitution and various federal laws focused on environmental impact assessment, forest conservation, sustainable development, water quality, climate change and the protection of the environment.

It suggests that production in Michoacán and probably in other parts of the country it is carried out practically informally, since on the one hand there is insufficient environmental regulation and, on the other, the few regulations are not applied.

He mentions that attempts have been made to carry out some ordering actions, as well as legal and administrative mechanisms at the local level, which have been unsuccessful, and points out that there are no effective coordination mechanisms between state and federal authorities. What is happening, he indicates, is an ecocide.

The petition warns that on the page Web of Apeam, in September 2021, the integration of 29 thousand producers, 65 packers and the record of 962 thousand tons exported in the 2019-2020 season to the United States, its main market, was registered, but last December the number of producers increased to 32 thousand 315 and 81 packers, a very significant growth that shows the green gold rush.

This implies orchards of the fruit in 150,000 registered hectares and the recognition of 43 municipalities within the avocado strip of the 22 municipalities that were included in said strip in 2017. Added to this, he highlights, there are producers not associated with Apeam who would be planting an area equal to or greater than 300,000 hectares.

The document sent on February 2 states that not all producers cause the same type or degree of environmental impact and highlights that forests play a vital role as they are habitats for wild flora and fauna, contribute to mitigating climate change, preserving the soil, filter water and recharge aquifers, among other benefits.

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