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The fruit industries of Latin America

The fruit industries of Latin America

Trop Sci 9(1): 20-45

Fruit production of the 43 Latin American Countries from Mexico to Argentina including the Caribbean Islands is reviewed. Of the 2,000 million hectares of land in that region, less than three million hectares are used for fruit crops. Approximately two million hectares are used in the following crops bananas, citrus, pineapples, grapes, apples, pears, plums and peaches. Over 50% of the world production of bananas come from this region, more than half of it being from Brazil and Ecuador. Latin America has supplied over 80% of the world market of bananas for the past 30 years, but the pattern of production has changed. Increases in export have been from Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Windward Islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe. There has been a tendency to change from 'Gros Michel' bananas to 'Cavendish' varieties particularly in the Caribbean territories to avoid the ravages of Panama disease. Twenty-five per cent of the world production of oranges is from Latin America, over half of it being produced in Brazil. Large increases in orange production are expected from Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, but the extent of the increases will depend to a great extent on world markets. Major pests and diseases of these crops, as well as improved varieties, are noted.

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