Vendors fear low sales of the popular pitayas because of Covid-19 measures
In addition to the isolation orders and an increase in the cost of the fruit, Chapala has blocked their sale by outside vendors
From 09:00 hours, there are pitayas and guamúchiles in the gate of the town.
Miguel Cerna.- A loss of up to 50 percent in demand has been projected in Jocotepec for the popular cactus fruit pitayas -sometimes known as “dragon fruit”- and the sweet tree fruit known as guamúchiles, due to the government’s sanitary measures to combat the pandemic. In other years the season for pitayas and guamúchiles is eagerly awaited by both consumers and marketers. But 2020 has been clouded by the government sanitary orders that have severely impacted markets for the seasonal fruit.
Jesús Solano Santana, who is sells these fruits when the weather heats up, described the sales as bad during the first week when he was located at the eastern gate of the main square during the months of May and June.
«I even sell pitayas until the rainy season comes, two and a half months or so. People ask us because they come from the other side -to the Fiestas of Señor del Huaje- but also to see this year how it is going. Because of this, I believe that it will affect us up to 50 percent, «he said.
The current prices range from 10 to 20 pesos per pitaya.
In addition to the lack of buyers, Solano Santana noted a shortage of the fruit, indicating that its price will rise. Currently pitayas -which are from Tepec, Amacueca and San Marcos Evangelista, Zacoalco de Torres- range in price between 10 and 20 pesos per unit, depending on their size and quality. This may rise.
Even more worried is Armando Contreras Sánchez, 65 years old, who specializes in the purchase and sale of these fruits. He was denied permission to sell in Chapala and must now shift his business to Jocotepec.
«In Chapala, people from the City Council told me to go to my municipality to sell -Zacoalco de Torres-. In my municipality it is like bringing fish here -where there is already a supply of fish-; there are guamúchiles, there are pitayas. What are we going to do?”, he asked.
Although sales are just beginning, what should be a season bright with the intense colors of the pitayas is turning gray because of coronavirus. Although demand is low, vendors will remain at the corner of Miguel Arana and Allende streets for the next two months, from 9:00 a.m. until their products are all sold. (translated by Patrick O’Heffernan)
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