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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Francis X. Mangan

Second Advisor

Wesley R. Autio

Third Advisor

Richar T. Rogers

Subject Categories

Agribusiness | Agricultural Economics | Marketing

Abstract

ABSTRACT

EVALUATION OF LEAFY GREEN SPECIES POPULAR AMONG ETHNIC GROUPS FOR PRODUCTION AND MARKETS IN THE NORTHEASTERN USA

MAY 2015

RICARDO A. ORELLANA,

B.S., ESCUELA AGRICOLA PANAMERICA EL ZAMORANO, HONDURAS

M.B.A, INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE ADMINISTRACION DE EMPRESAS (ISEADE) EL SALVADOR

M.Sc. UNIVERSIDAD BOLIVARIANA (UB), CHILE

Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Directed by: Professor Frank X. Mangan

This dissertation addresses the need to evaluate the potential of leafy green species popular among ethnic groups for production and marketing in the northeastern US, specifically in Massachusetts. The targeted potential consumers for these leafy greens are three ethnic groups living on the US Eastern Seaboard, specifically Asian Indians, Chinese, and Latinos, which refers to both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Together, Asians and Latinos make up a large percentage of the total US population, and as they have a high per capita consumption of fresh produce, there is a large demand for specific species popular in their respective cuisines. The objectives of this research were: 1) to collect and describe growth characteristics of ethnic leaf vegetables for production and consumption in Massachusetts, 2) to assess the yield performance and establish the field viability of selected leafy greens, 3) to asses marketing opportunities for the most promising leafy greens and establish the price levels that potential consumers are willing and able to pay.

Production trials were conducted in 2011 and 2012 at the UMass Research Farm in South Deerfield, MA. All recorded data were examined per year by analysis of variance (F- test) by using HSD test for pair means comparisons for 12 dependents variables. After the field evaluation, Red purslane, Yellow purslane, Hierba mora-A and Hierba Mora -B were chosen and tested for potential marketing opportunities among the targeted ethnic communities.

In the 2011 trial, the six most promising and top-yielding leafy greens with potential for markets in the Northeastern US were Hierba mora-B, Dandelion, Indian sorrel, Yellow purslane, Red purslane and Amaranth. These crops had between 40,825 to 15,820 kg·ha־¹ in fresh weight yield. In the 2012 trial, the six most promising and top-yielding leafy greens with potential for marketing were Red Purslane, Yellow purslane, Pak choy, Quincy choy, Lettuce lolo and Dandelion. Fresh weight was from 21,086 to 13, 482 kg·ha־¹. Finally, wholesale prices, retail prices, costs per kilogram by activity, potential demand and profit per kilogram were determined with the respective marketing bill for the four chosen crops.

KEY WORDS: Leafy green, ethnic groups, production, marketing bill.

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