Persea americana, Andosols, rainfed agriculture, conventional agriculture, pesticides.
Objective: To characterize the avocado production system in Huatusco, Veracruz.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Interviews based on the snowball method were applied to avocado producers in Huatusco, Veracruz. Meanwhile, fruit and water samples were used to perform a multiresidue analysis of pesticides.
Results: The monoculture plantations are rainfed. They have a density of 100-150 trees ha-1. The Hass variety predominates in Andosols, with 5-100% slopes. Most of the producers (92%) carry out conventional management, applying pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Herbicides and brushcutters are used to control weeds. No pesticides were detected in the water samples, while Imidacloprid, Thiabendazole, and alpha-Cypermethrin were identified in a fruit sample, with 0.0038 ± 0.0014 mg/kg, 0.0022 ± 0.0009 mg/kg and 0.0703 ± 0.000 mg /kg concentrations, respectively. These concentrations fall within the limits allowed in Mexico.
Study Limitations/Implications: A detailed and frequent sampling of avocado fruits should be carried out to determine pesticide residues. It is also necessary to analyze samples of running water near the orchards to prevent pollution.
Findings/Conclusions: The empirical knowledge of the producers about the type of soil is more precise than the scientific classification: they identify five classes of soils beyond Andosols. Additionally, there is a marked inequality in land tenure, since large-scale producers (25% of all producers) own 86% of the established area. Although, in a preliminary sampling, pesticide concentrations did not exceed the limits of residues allowed in the avocado pulp, the number of pesticide applications should be reduced.