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Plant & Soil Sciences
Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Marketing. Brazilian crops. Ethnic markets. Local Farmers
This study analyzes the distribution system of fresh fruits and vegetables used by Brazilian population in Massachusetts, which is estimated to be over 250,000. Maxixe (Cucumis anguria) and abóbora híbrida (Cucurbita spp.), vegetable crops popular among Brazilians were used as test crops to better understand the distribution system and to assess the most efficient way for local farmers to enter into the marketplace with their fresh produce. In person interviews with Brazilian consumers, and test marketing were used in this research to evaluate sales potential and pricing levels for abóbora híbrida produced in Massachusetts. The squash was sold at four locations during two weeks at specific pricing levels and results showed good sales potential for this crop. Yields and production practices were evaluated at the UMass Research Farm to test productivity and adaptability of this squash in local climate conditions. Results of this pilot study also underscored the importance of local farmers understanding the role of cultural characteristics of the Brazilian community in the United States, especially with regard to language and media, in order to fully capitalize on this market.
Francis X. Mangan