Chile has been grown in New Mexico for generations and is possibly the only industry in which New Mexico is ranked first in the nation. But many worry that the industry is now in trouble. Red and Green Chile is the heart and soul of New Mexico but is currently in a steep decline.
- Today 82% of chile consumed in the U.S.A is foreign grown (from Mexico, Peru, China and India).
- In 1992 34,500 acres were harvested in NM; In 2008 only 11,100 acres were harvested in the state.
- Foreign competition remains severe.
- This industry used to provide over 2,000 full time jobs and over 10,000 part time jobs to New Mexicans. These numbers have drop significantly.
- Foreign companies are taking adavantage of their reduced regulation and cheap plentiful labor to take green chile market share.
- China is trying to corner the oleoresin market which accounts for 30% of NM chile acreage.
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