Mexican Avocado Farmers Fight Back 102419


South of the border avocado growers are taking matters into their own hands to protect their crop.

Small-scale avocado growers, armed with A-R-15's now take turns manning a checkpoint.

They're guarding against thieves and drug cartels in the Mexican state of Michoacan.

That's the heartland for world production of avocados.

The region's avocado boom, fuelled by soaring U-S demand, has drawn parts of western Mexico out of poverty in just ten years. 

But it has also drawn gangs and hyper-violent cartels that have hung bodies from bridges. 

While Mexican avocado growers have for years lived in fear of assaults and shakedowns, the situation went international in mid-August when a U-S-D-A team of inspectors was "directly threatened" in a nearby town.

The U-S-D-A...responding with a letter threatening to suspend its work if there were further incidents. 

Such a move could block shipments and devastate the industry and the area.

It's estimated Mexico supplies about 43-percent of all world avocado exports.

  - Clinton Griffiths, Editor, Farm Journal Magazine, News Anchor of AgDay