Current situation of blueberry production in Mexico
August 29, 2022

During the first quarter of this year, berries were positioned as the first most exported agri-food product in Mexico. Blueberries represent 15% of Mexican berry exports. In 2021, Mexico had a production of more than 70,000 tons of blueberries or blueberries.

Likewise, the crop has shown a growth greater than 20% during the last years, both in surface and in production. This growth has had a very important social repercussion for the country, with different social implications and challenges (Graph 1).

The sector is currently facing different challenges such as labor shortages, water supply, different phytosanitary problems, and has concentrated on developing the national market and encouraging local consumption. On the other hand, there are also great opportunities.

Currently, about 97% of the production, or 68,300 tons, is exported to 31 export destinations, mainly to the United States. Important developing markets such as Japan, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, among others, stand out.

Organic Production New Varieties

Organic production has become highly relevant globally.

Currently 15% of the blueberry area in Mexico, around 1,360 hectares, is produced organically. About 10,500 tons of organic blueberries have been exported during the current season.

On the other hand, around 6% of the total area produces new varieties this season. 70% of the area is produced with the Biloxi variety. Of the remainder, 80% is produced with private varieties and 20% with public varieties.

Production Trend 

Currently 53% of blueberry plants are grown in soil, while 47% are in containers or pots (hydroponics), and the trend will increase in the coming years.

Due to the increase in production volume and other advantages offered by production with substrates, the tendency to plant in containers or pots continues to increase each season (Table 1).

This technology supposes the establishment of 6,000 plants per ha. to obtain between 15 and 18 tons per ha.