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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Conservation, Genetic Analyses, and Utilization of Subtropical/Tropical Fruit Crops, Sugarcane, and Miscanthus Genetic Resources

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Chapter 8. Avocado history, biodiversity and production

Authors
item Ayala-Silva, Tomas
item Ledesma, Noris -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 7, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Avocado (Persea Americana Mill.). Avocado has been grown in the Mexico and Central America as far back as 10,000 BC. The species are spread from northern Mexico through the southeastern United States, east through the West Indies and south through Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Avocado is a major tropical fruit in tropical America, including the eastern and central highlands of Mexico, Guatemala, Central America down to the northern parts of South America (Peru, Ecuador). The most general name for this fruit is avocado, derived from the Spanish word “aguacate”, and derived from the Aztec words “Ahuacatl” and “ahoacaquahuitl” The first known written account of avocado in Europe is that of Martín Fernández de Enciso (c.1470–c.1528) in 1518 or in Suma De Geographia Que Trata De Todas Las Partidas Y Provincias Del Mundo in 1519. The first written record of the word 'avocado' in English was by Hans Sloane in a 1696 catalog of Jamaican plants. Avocado was introduced to Indonesia in 1750, Brazil in 1809, the Levant in 1908 and South Africa and Australia in the late 19th century. There are three distinct subspecies or major races: Mexican, Guatemalan and West Indian. According to FAO projections, the avocado harvest will amount to 3.9 million tons in 2014. Latin America and the Caribbean are the main producing regions of the world, mainly due to Chile because it is one of the largest exporters of avocado. Some of the main avocado producing countries are Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, United States, Australia, South Africa and Israel. Worldwide production of avocado in 2012 was around 4,487,881 tons. Mexico and Chile is the world’s largest producers of avocados. Mexico represents over one-fourth of global production and Chile was the second largest producer in 2011 (330,000 tonnes), accounting for nearly 7.5 percent followed by Dominican Republic and Indonesia with about 6.0 percent. The USA ranked 8th in the world with approximately 3.15% of the production.

Technical Abstract: Avocado (Persea Americana Mill.). Avocado has been grown in the neotropics as far back as 10,000 BC. The species are scattered from northern Mexico through the southeastern United States, east through the West Indies and south through Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Guiana, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Avocado is a major tropical fruit originating in tropical America, including the eastern and central highlands of Mexico, Guatemala, Central America down to the northern parts of South America (Peru, Ecuador). The most common name for this fruit is avocado, derived from the Spanish word “aguacate”, in turn derived from the Aztec words “Ahuacatl” and “ahoacaquahuitl” The earliest known written account of avocado in Europe is that of Martín Fernández de Enciso (c.1470–c.1528) in 1518 or in Suma De Geographia Que Trata De Todas Las Partidas Y Provincias Del Mundo in 1519. The first written record of the word 'avocado' in English was by Hans Sloane in a 1696 index of Jamaican plants. The plant was introduced to Indonesia in 1750, Brazil in 1809, the Levant in 1908 and South Africa and Australia in the late 19th century. Avocado has been classified into three distinct subspecies or major races: Mexican, Guatemalan and West Indian. According to FAO projections, the avocado harvest will amount to 3.9 million tons in 2014. Latin America and the Caribbean are the main producing regions of the world, largely due to Chile because it is one of the largest exporters of avocado. Some of the main avocado producing countries are Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, United States, Australia, South Africa and Israel. Global production of avocado in 2012 was estimated at 4,487,881 tonnes. Mexico is the world’s largest producer of avocados, representing over one-fourth of global production. Chile was the second largest producer in 2011 (330,000 tonnes), accounting for nearly 7.5 percent followed by Dominican Republic and Indonesia with about 6.0 percent each and the USA ranked 8th in the world with approximately 3.15% of the production.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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