Guatemala takes another step in the process to open the US market to its Hass avocado with the fifth sampling of its fields to identify and create an inventory of the diseases that are present in the crops, and which of these can be classified as quarantine, as well as to develop a systems approach proposal (traceability) to prevent them from entering the US market.
This is almost the second-to-last step to gaining access to the US market, stated Francisco Viteri García-Gallont, president of the National Association of Avocado (Anaguacate). However, Guatemala and its producers will still need to send the work proposal, which is submitted to a consultation that takes another certain period of time of analysis, he added.
The application at the U.S. Department of Agriculture is exclusively for Hass avocado. There are currently 56 farms participating in the pest sampling, but this does not mean that they are approved or rejected, as they will only be certified once we have a work plan that has been reviewed and authorized by US authorities, he added.
There are nearly 6,000 hectares of plantations that could comply with the eligibility requirements. In the near future, once the country is granted access to the US market, that extension can reach up to 12,000 hectares, according to Anaguacate data.
Expectations are that, in the first year that the US market is open, 50% of the farms would be ready to export and they would ship about 300 containers in the harvest season, which begins in August and ends in February of the following year.
In the second year, 100% of the farms should be able to export and the country could export more than 1,000 containers to this market in that season. Once the product is admitted to the US, it could also be received in other countries, such as South Korea.
According to estimates, Guatemala has the potential for planting Hass avocado on 50,000 to 60,000 hectares.