It even has plans to implement a rainwater collection program to replenish local aquifers in the avocado strip using gabion dams, water collection trenches, and other techniques.
Our growers know that healthy forests make for healthy avocado orchards, which is why APEAM created a reforestation program in 2011, delivering a whopping 2.9 million trees to Michoacán farms and municipalities between 2011 and 2022. More than 3,550 acres of land have been reforested to date, with tree survival rates of more than 80% for 2019–2021. APEAM is also working with the Mexican government to prevent illegal logging and plans to protect a total of 558,041 hectares of forest in the avocado strip through its Forest Conservation Program.
To protect Michoacán’s forests from fires, APEAM has trained and equipped 18 forest brigades in 16 municipalities. Together, they have helped contain a total of 121 fires so far. We’ve also set up a monitoring system that provides municipalities, avocado growers, fire brigades, and other stakeholders with daily updates on hot spots reported in the avocado strip to help them prevent and contain fires.
Our growers constantly strive to reduce their use of chemical pesticides and adopt more sustainable farming methods. APEAM helps by offering education and training, testing crops to ensure that pesticide residue limits are respected prior to harvest, conducting research aimed at reducing pests and diseases in avocado orchards through sustainable soil and water management, and developing soil management methods aimed at helping growers adapt to climate change.
And let’s not forget bees and their buddies! After all, pollinators are a key part of the avocado lifecycle. APEAM is currently running a special project to identify the plants used by pollinator insects in avocado orchards and train growers on how to protect them. Through APEAM’s work, use of best practices to protect pollinator-friendly plants is on the rise among APEAM growers. And since those plants also help regulate soil temperature and maintain humidity, the project is helping growers reduce their watering needs as well.
Of course, it’s not just about pollinator insects. The avocado strip is part of a precious ecosystem and lies in one of Mexico’s most biodiverse states. That’s why APEAM is also working on a program to preserve biodiversity in the avocado strip.