Manzano Pepper

From day laborers to businesswomen; Mexicans export cucumber and chili to USA

A group of women from the municipality of Chavinda, Michoacán, produce 270 tons of Persian cucumber and 12.5 tons of habanero and manzano pepper that they send to McAllen, Texas, in the United States, for sale.

In an interview with Notimex, the delegate of the National Institute of Social Economy (INAES, for its acronym in Spanish), Mónica Sánchez Cachú, commented that it is the Society of Rural Production Producers of Vegetables of Arius, directed by Irma Zambrano Sánchez.

She recalled that women were wage laborers and from 2014 they organized to integrate into a social enterprise that allowed them to receive profits, in order to improve the quality of their families; And that the economic activity they play “with pride” has had a positive impact on the economic development of their locality.

INAES has supported them since 2015, when it granted them between 700 and 800 thousand pesos to install a greenhouse in an area of ??almost one hectare, and later, it stressed, they supported them to acquire part of the necessary machinery in order to conserve their product in better conditions.

It detailed that this local company now harvests 270 tons of Persian cucumber per production cycle, from May to September and from November to March, and most of it is exported to Texas. In the second week of February they sent 12.5 tons of that vegetable, with a price of nine dollars per box.

After completing the production cycle, the entrepreneurs plant habanero and apple chiles, which send up to 12.5 tons to McAllen and get between 1.20 and 1.50 dollars per kilo.

“They are happy with their work; that can be seen in the way they have changed their lives and self-esteem, “said the state official, noting that most of these women are no longer dependent on their partners and even they have joined the activities of the company.

She added that the initiative addresses the social policy of President Enrique Peña Nieto, by encouraging the development of regions and reducing social inequality through self-employment in decent conditions.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA, for its acronym in Spanish), most cucumber production (68 percent) is in the autumn-winter cycle and the rest is generated in spring-summer.

Only six states produce 81 percent of the national production of this vegetable and among them are Sonora, with 38 percent, and Michoacán, with 18 percent.

The cucumber is produced all year round, however, during the months of February, March and April it generates 44 percent of the national total.

By Carlos Trejo Serrano

NTX/CTS/SGR/JCG


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