U.S. avocado demand squeezes Michoacán forests


They are Mexico’s green gold: the knobbly-skinned Hass avocados that pour northward over the border to feed Americas’ ever-growing appetite for the fleshy fruit. But the Mexican avocado’s commercial success has spelled destruction for some of the forests of Michoacán State, a lush region of volcanic hills that abuts the Pacific Coast and is the heartland of the world’s avocado industry. From 1974 to 2011, avocado farms replaced some 45,000 hectares (111,000 acres) of forest in Michoacán, according to a study by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). With U.S. demand still rising and markets in China and elsewhere growing, the rush to produce more of the valuable fruit is only growing stronger, environmental experts say. “It is becoming quite a big... [Log in to read more]

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