CHANGES IN TROPICAL FRUIT PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA AND THE WORLD THROUGH TIME

Robert J. Knight, Jr.

Abstract


The marketing picture for tropical fruit crops has changed through time thanks to economic and climatic factors and to crop diseases and pests. As an example, mangos marketed in the U.S. in the past were produced for the most part in Florida. The picture changed with increased entry of mangos from Haiti and Mexico, and later from producers in Central and South America. One consequence has been transformation of the mango from a fruit available in summer to one sold for much of the year in metropolitan supermarkets. Production of limes was largely eliminated from south Florida by Hurricane Andrew (in 1992) followed by bacterial citrus canker disease, and transferred to Mexico. Hurricane Andrew also severely reduced avocado and mango acreage in Florida, and the implementation of the NAFTA treaty from January 1, 1994 discouraged replanting efforts. Subsequent real estate development of agricultural land in south Florida forced fruit production to move to the Dominican Republic and elsewhere. Culture of other fruit crops has also changed, in some cases dramatically, in Florida and elsewhere. Forces that influence change continue to act.

Keywords


avocado; banana; mango; papaya; pineapple; fruit production; Food and Agricultural Organization

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283