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México: Lack of pollinators marks decrease in Ataulfo mango production


The production of the Ataulfo mango variety, which originates from the area of Soconusco, in Chiapas, has fallen up to 25 percent in recent years. 

The apparent cause is a decrease in the presence and diversity of pollinating insects such as bees, flies and ants. 

Besides the use of some pesticides, a lack of pollinators could also be caused by the use of some substances that stimulate flowering trees when there is a delay in the natural cycle.

The researcher Leslie Solis Montero, from El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), has conducted studies on the populations of these insects in plantations and presented some of their findings in the institution's Semana de Intercambio Académico (SIA), where he reminded researchers from other disciplines that the scientific community is very concerned about the decline of pollinator populations. He then presented data from the Tapachula region, where the Ataulfo mango variety originates, known for its manageable size, and a third of a kilo weight, approximately.

Intensive Ataulfo mango production, and its large scale use began in 1963, from trees in a farm bought by a person whose name was Ataulfo Gordillo Morales Gordillo.

Currently 13 municipalities from the area of Soconusco receive income from the sale of this fruit, coming from a single orchard of five high quality trees.

The uniqueness and demand for this type of mango, motivated Mexico to protect the origin of this variety which was granted, in 2003, the designation of Ataulfo origin mango from Soconusco Chiapas, for those sown among the Pacific coast, the Sierra Madre Chiapas, the Suchiate river and the town of Mapastepec.

There are many countries that produce and export mangoes from other species, as 130 different types have been described. 

According to Solis Montero, Mexico is currently the fifth largest producer of mango and Chiapas is the second state with increased domestic production of that fruit. However, there is a contraction in the volume of production in southern Chiapas.

These observations are a part of a much wider field of research that is taking place in several countries. 

Citrus growers in the USA, and other fruit bearing trees in different parts of the world have expressed their concerns, for example, of the decline of European bees.


Publication date: 11/16/2016

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