Current state of and perspectives on cocoa production in Mexico
O. Díaz-José, J. Aguilar-Ávila, R. Rendón-Medel, and V.H. Santoyo-Cortés. 2013. Current state of and perspectives on cocoa production in Mexico. Cien. Inv. Agr.40(2): 279-289. Cocoa is one of the principal agricultural and cultural resources of the humid Mexican tropics. At present, the cocoa system is facing an unprecedented production crisis in relation to several factors, including the presence of frosty pod rot (Moniliophthora roreri), plantation neglect and low farm profitability. The aim of this study was to formulate a medium-term plan for cocoa production in Mexico by constructing a Technology Roadmap (TRM). Using an econometric model, production statistics were analyzed for national and international data. Producers participated in 185 surveys, and 82 interviews were performed with key actors in the production chain. The results showed that from 2000-2011, Mexico's cocoa production decreased by 43.7%, contrary to the increase seen in most cocoa producing nations during that time. The TRM indicates that a six-year period is needed to implement the plan, which would involve integration of pest management, introduction of good agricultural practices and management, participation in breeding, improvement of quality and promotion of national cocoa. These actions require the participation of all production chain stakeholders to encourage farmers to take part in the specialized production of Mexican fine aroma cocoa.