PRODUCTION AND MARKETING OF MANGO IN GUATEMALA
In 1998, 10 thousands tons of mangoes were exported from which 90% to the USA and the remaining 10% to Europe. Eventhough this industry has represented a profitable business to producers and packers/shippers; there are new challenges to overcome.
One of the main constraints that producers face is the international competition for the same markets and niches. The international market has been saturated with mangoes from all over the world. Mexico accounts for nearly 85% of the market in the USA (ERSUSDA, 1998a). Unfortunately countries located in the Northern Hemisphere such as Guatemala, have to compete for better prices trying to access the market in early season. Countries such as Peru and Brazil find better prices between October and February when prices go up.
Other factors such as low yield and quality tremendously affect the mango industry in Guatemala. Producers and researchers have joined efforts to determine the biological agent and incidence of “black seed”, a common disease found in many orchards throughout the country which mainly affects during the rainy season. Postharvest losses vary from 2–40% in shipments to the packers and depend on the location of the farm and the harvest season. Yields range from 5–15 tons/ha. Several factors contribute to low yields such as lack of irrigation systems during blossom which caused productive trees to drop 50% of the potential production.