They are ranked number one in productivity in Mexico, however, the papaya growers of Oaxaca, whose majority is on the coast, suffer from lack of funding, badly planned support, victims to unpredictable weather that can literally leave them on the street.
Considered an activity with great opportunities, but high risk to their heritage, the planting of papaya has tempered the character of the approximately 400 producers in the state and has made them disciplined and patient, although each time with a greater knowledge of the fruit and its avatars, a fact that has placed Oaxaca as the main national producer with a yield of about 300,000 tons per year.
“Oaxaca is the main producer of papaya in the country, despite all the challenges that are presented to us, and we are proud of that, and although the support does not reach us at the time, the character and discipline of the producers, has made the papaya valued throughout the country,” said Jorge Alberto Reyes Cisneros, president of the Papaya Product System in the state.
In spite of the privileged situation of the lands on the Coast, an area where 95% of the papaya is grown, wherein any place free of winds, a seed is sown and after seven months the fruit is harvested, there is a series of drawbacks that limit activity for farmers and this is reflected in the use of land.
“The papaya is one of the crops that offer more opportunities, but it also implies a high risk and producers take the gamble every day. Financial institutions do not trust the crop due to the volatility and do not give credit; besides that, we are constantly exposed to meteorological phenomena,” explained Reyes Cisneros.
In Oaxaca there are around 400 producers of papaya, most of which are distributed in the strip that goes from Huatulco to the border with Guerrero; only five percent is located in the Cañada and the Isthmus.
Despite the high quality of the papaya that is produced in the Costa, which is marketed in entities such as Monterrey, Puebla, Mexico State, and Mexico City, the producer regretted that in those areas, most of the product is low quality.