Tuesday, September 22, 2009

oregano hunters

Each year, during the months of September and October, the oregano hunters around small communities or ejidos around Fresnillo, south of Zacatecas Mexico are preparing to collect the seasonal herb which grows naturally in the arid region of the state. According to the article, “The importance of the oregano production in Mexico” by Alicia Aguirre published in Carta Economica Regional, num.3, Mexico has the first place in the world in the production of oregano, however, this product is only the 10% of consumtion is used internally and 90% is for the external markets or exportation.
Records indicate from 3200 tons of production, 2800 was exported by 1.25 dollars by kilogram which brought 3 million dollars which 30 percent was for Jalisco and Zacatecas. Paradoxically, the oregano hunters from south of Zacatecas still live on marginal conditions, with no water, electricity or other sanitation. There is no equivalent benefit between hunters and acopiadores or mediators, collectors who monopolized the commercialization and work directly with American corporations which decide on the prices. Aguirre explains that not only there is a lack of technical knowledge in the oregano production because undeveloped formal ways of exploitation but commercialization problems and moreover, the need of institutional support which can provide technical assistance and implement regulations.
Consequently, there is a high index of male migration in nine counties, according to a study by Miguel Moctezuma from the Univesity of Zacatecas. “It is alarming to find ghost towns where there is only woman and children” said Moctezuma according to Gerardo Flores in his article published in La Jornalda, 2008. The IEM an official migration institute indicates that 17 thousand zacatecan men migrated to the U.S. in 2007 explains Flores.