Forests, Locals Harmed in Mexico's Avocado Boom
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November 4, 2016
From toasts to sushi… Avocados are everywhere. But in Mexico, the fruit’s top exporter, illegal farming is destroying the environment and putting people’s health at risk. (Agence France-Presse)
Liliana Carmona misses the lush pine forest on the hills overlooking her village in western Mexico. She now stares at vast avocado orchards that feed a massive foreign appetite for the green fruit.
Growers have been cutting down swaths of forest to make room for more fruit trees in the state of Michoacan, the world’s avocado capital.
Experts are now concerned that chemicals used in the orchards could be behind illnesses afflicting the local population.
...About 40 percent of the world’s avocados are grown in Mexico, and most of those come from the area around Jujucato and Lake Zirahuen.
Avocados occupy some 137,000 hectares (340,000 acres) of land in Michoacan, according to state government figures.
Half of those orchards were planted in forests after the land was bought through dubious legal means, according to Jaime Navia, head of a rural technology NGO called GIRA.
Deforestation is growing at a pace of 2.5 percent per year, according to GIRA.
Read the rest at The Standard
Related: Record Prices for Avocados Spark Strikes in Mexico and a Crime Wave in New Zealand (The Telegraph)
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