Chunya, Felipe Carrillo Puerto — The first shipment of pitahaya (dragon fruit) bound for the United States left southern Quintana Roo over the weekend. The shipment of 36 tons of the locally grown fruit will travel across the border as part of a five-year contract.
Local state producers will provide US retail stores with 300 tons of the fruit this season alone. Over the duration of the five-year contract, Quintana Roo pitahaya growers will export 300 tons of the fruit to retail stores across the border per season.
Growers negotiated a rate of 27 peso per kilo for the first seasonal shipment and 17 peso per kilo for the following shipments, which, according to the government, is expected to net local pitahaya producers around 50 million peso this year.
Head of the Secretariat for Rural Agricultural Development and Fisheries (SEDARPE) Luis Torres said out that the growers that make up the contracted company Mukil Meya SA de R.L. are from the southern towns of Chunpon, Chun on, Chunya, San Antonio Nuevo, Francisco I. Madero, X-Hazil, X- Hazil Norte, San Ramón, Kancepchen, Tihosuco and Melchor Ocampo.
He added that the pitahaya fruit is harvest on 200 hectares of land and that the export of the product provides direct benefits for 140 people and creates about 400 seasonal jobs.