South African avocado farmers are fighting the thieves who have been found money grows on trees.
The Wall Street Journal interviewed avocado farmer Mark Alcock who owns a 170-hectare farm in South Africa, the sixth largest exporter of avocado in the world. He said his farm has a motion -enabled infrared camera system operated by a soldier who was formerly in the military and protected the property from criminals.
Alcock is not alone. As prices rise due to cyclical factors, some farms are putting in place security systems to guard their crops.
“As the cost of the product increases, its accessibility will increase as more orchards are planted,” said Howard Blight, who grows avocados on the 350-acre farm. He said his farm was guarded by an electric fence and guards.
“It seems pretty serious,” Blight said. “But avocados are golden green. ”
Avocado theft used to be small but is now rampant because criminal gangs join in and raid farms, then push the fruit into legitimate markets, according to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, a NGO.
The latest attack has disrupted the supply and price of avocados across South Africa. Most of the fruits are prepared for Europe, where wholesalers pay up to $ 2 per pound.
Perhaps the reason why criminal gangs steal the avocado is that the financial legacy of the virus pandemic has devastated the country and could result in the longest lasting structural effects. This is accompanied by high levels of debt and rising inequality of wealth, pushing those unemployed into criminal gangs. – READ MORE
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