Additional Information on the Pepitoria Project


The life of the pepitoria: from the field to the mouth

The following information was collected from local farmers and vendors, regarding the pepitoria market in Guatemala. This will be updated as more information is collected. The purpose is to investigate the market for pepitoria, which is a first step in finding alternative ways to enhance the economic stability in Tanhoc.

Tanhoc

Pepitoria seeds are planted in March, harvested in August, and sold, as raw seeds raw with their shells still on, to the bodegas (small stores) in Poptún.

Poptún

Bodegas buy the raw seeds for Q625/q (1 quintal = 100 pounds) and sell them for Q700/q, a 10% markup; prices fluctuate with the seasons (prices as of 26-August-2008). They are sold to two main large buyers, who then transport them to Guatemala City.

The seeds may also be purchased by local residents, who can grind them into a powder used in cooking various dishes.

In March, farmers purchase raw seeds to plant next year's crop. The remaining seeds are transported to Guatemala City.

Guatemala City

From Guatemala City, the seeds are trucked to Rabinal (Baja Vera Paz), where the shells are removed. They are then transported back to Guatemala City, for distribution across the country and for  export to Mexico and the United States.

For example, markets in Poptún purchase these seeds, known as “pelada”, for Q15/lb and sell them for Q20/lb, a 7.5% markup.