Home Headlines Yucatan is the first Mexican state to export Mamey to Europe

Yucatan is the first Mexican state to export Mamey to Europe

by Magali Alvarez
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Mexico exported mamey for the first time to Europe, and the company responsible for this historic event is in Yucatan. The name of this company is Huertas Magaña, a project located in the municipality of Akil, where it is difficult to find a family not involved in the production of this fruit.

“In all of Mexico there has never been an export of mamey, not only to Europe, but to any part of the world,” explained Julio César Magaña Navarrete, manager of Huertas Magaña.

This first export, he explained, was made to Paris, France. The company responsible for this is located in the municipality of Akil, in the south of the state, between Oxkutzcab and Tekax, known as the mameyera zone of the region.

“In Mexico, there are several states that produce mamey, with Yucatán being the main producer in the entire republic due to the quantity and quality of the fruit. The production zone is in the south of the state,” he reiterated.

Akil, Oxkutzcab, Tekax, Dzan and Maní are some of the Yucatecan entities dedicated to mamey production. However, he clarified, Akil is the main one.

Huertas Magaña’s first shipment to Paris consisted of a sample pallet (576 kilograms) to fine-tune logistics, tariffs, regulations and other issues required for a company of this type.

After this, he continued, shipments will be made once a week depending on the resulting configurations: Packaging forms, box types, and so on.

“We are in a process of adapting to the market we are targeting. This production season we will define the appropriate packaging and frequencies for this specific market,” stressed Magaña Navarrete.

In Yucatán, there is no registry of mamey producers. The producers, he said, on several occasions have asked the Secretariat of Agriculture for a census to be made, both of the area planted – the volume of production – and the producers.

“On some occasions, it has been done, but not in the right way. We estimate that there are more than 5 thousand producers who are dedicated to this fruit. We also estimate that there are close to 3 thousand hectares planted, which is much higher than what the official figures indicate”.

The farmer recalled that mamey is produced in several states of the republic, but that of Yucatan -according to customer opinions- is the best there is in the country, which he attributes to the climate and soil conditions.

“These two characteristics are ideal for the production of exotic tropical fruits, and one of them is the mamey,” said Julio Magaña.

Photo: CIAD

Half a century of history

It was more than 50 years ago when Mr. Carlos Manuel Magaña Reyes, father of the interviewee, started with the mamey production project. At that time he did not have any knowledge or experience in the matter.

“The crop used to be backyard, wild. Mameyes grew in the jungle or in the bush; in the backyards of houses or in the farms; and it was not considered a commercial production,” he said.

After Mr. Magaña read in a fruit growing book that mamey was an exotic tropical fruit with a great future in the international market due to its characteristics, he decided to look for grafts to plant it.

“Before, grafting was not very common; normally the plants were from seed and it took 15 to 20 years before they began to bear their first fruits,” said Magaña Navarrete.

After acquiring the grafts, he (his father) realized that they had different characteristics, so he set himself the task of selecting the best varieties.

“He started with 15 or 17 varieties and over the years he eliminated those that he considered to be in accordance with the characteristics of what the consumer demanded; and 35 years later it was determined that the Magaña I and Magaña II varieties were the best”.

Although Huertas Magaña are the main producers of mamey in Mexico, their fruit is not sold in Yucatán. They are in the process of seeking distribution, especially in Mérida, but this has not been achieved. Most of the production is for the domestic market.

TYT Newsroom

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