USE OF A THREE CACTI SYSTEM TO OPTIMISE PRODUCTION AND MARKETING IN A POOR REGION OF MEXICO
Although Mexico is famous for its cacti fruit, not many are cultivated. Most of the cultivated plants are based on selected wild plants, either for self-consumption or for sale in small village markets. These fruits are seldom suitable for processing. A system based on a semi-cultivated fruit Pitaya de Mayo (Stenocereus griseus) has been growing slowly over the last 20 years after a small packing and processing line was established by the government in La Mixteca Baja Oaxaqueña. Since the fruit of Pitaya de Mayo is only produced in May, two other cacti fruit were chosen in order to use the facility for most part of the year. These cacti fruit include Jiotilla (Escontria chiotilla) which is produced in June through August and sweet xoconoxtle or tunillo (Stenocereus stellatus) which is produced in September through November. Studies about their ecology, respiration rate, physical, and chemical features were made in order to determine their harvest indexes, their yield potential and their value-added products. A study was also made of their potential market. A mixed strategy was developed and growers convinced to switch from exploiting a single species to growing and selling the two other species. The use of natural resources instead of introduced ones not only reduced the costs of production but also the environmental damage. More research needs to be done to increase the number of value-added products, to reduce the time to make a profit, and to extend the production period.
Yanez, L., Armella, M.A., Andrade, S., Sanchez-Diaz, D.M., Ramirez, G. and Gonzalez, O. (2006). USE OF A THREE CACTI SYSTEM TO OPTIMISE PRODUCTION AND MARKETING IN A POOR REGION OF MEXICO. Acta Hortic. 699, 495-500