- 07/28/2019 at 10:23 am #1536964EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Direction: Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.Certain words/ phrases are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the them.
Under the volcanoes in Mexico’s Michoacán state, violent cartels are fighting to dominate a shadowy and lucrative market. One gang, called La Familia Michoacana, announced its presence about a decade ago by tossing five rivals’ heads onto a dance floor in the town of Uruapan. The Knights Templar muscled in next, spouting a chivalric code of honor as it taxed, extorted and kidnapped farmers and usurped their land. Mexican security forces and local landowners have tried to fight back, but warring cartels continue to splinter and proliferate. In March, an armed group known as Los Viagras — apparently named for the way their leader’s heavily moussed hair stands up — wreaked havoc by burning dozens of vehicles and effectively shutting down the state’s main highway. One conflagration took place not far from where an American businessman named Steve Barnard owns a packing plant in Uruapan. “It’s too dangerous to drive on the roads,” Barnard says. The farm owners “have to be very careful not to get kidnapped.”
The precious commodity that drives Michoacán’s economy and feeds an American obsession is not marijuana or methamphetamines but avocados, which local residents have taken to calling “green gold.” Mexico produces more of the fruit than any country in the world — about a third of the global total — and most of its crop is grown in the rich volcanic soil of Michoacán, upland from the beaches of Acapulco. It is one of the miracles of modern trade that in 2017, Mexico’s most violent year on record, this cartel-riddled state exported more than 1.7 billion pounds of Haas avocados to the United States, helping them surpass bananas as America’s most valuable fruit import. Nine out of every 10 imported avocados in the United States come from Michoacán.
The real marvel of Mexico’s avocado trade, however, is not so much its size as the speed of its sudden growth. Avocados have been cultivated in Mexico for around 9,000 years. Despite this deep history, Mexico exported very few avocados — and none at all to the United States — through the 1980s, when Barnard’s California-based company, Mission Produce, opened the first avocado-packing plant in Uruapan. The United States had banned Mexican avocados since 1914 over fears of an insect infestation and cheaper competition. But in 1994, Mexico, Canada and the United States enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement — and soon thereafter the United States began lifting its ban.
An avocado explosion followed. In 1994, Americans consumed a little more than one pound of the fruit per person per year — almost all from California growers, whose harvest comes only in the summer. Today, that figure is up to seven pounds per person year-round. Fueled by a growing Latino community and Hollywood stars promoting the health benefits of the fruit’s unsaturated fats, America’s avocado craze has intensified every year. An estimated 135 million pounds of avocados were consumed in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl last month. (The Super Bowl is America’s top avocado day, just ahead of Cinco de Mayo.) “The boom caught everybody by surprise,” says Barnard, whose company is the world’s largest avocado distributor. “We’re really scrambling. We’re growing at 10 to 15 percent per year, but we still can’t keep up with demand.”
Source: The New York Times Magazine
Which of the following sentences would the author agree with the most?
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- On an average, Americans consume six times more avocados than other people.
- The United States lifted the ban on Mexican avocados once they realized the immense benefits of the fruit.
- The popularity of avocados in United States increased considerably post endorsements by Hollywood celebrities.
- Growing appetite for the “green gold” has helped make a big difference to Mexico’s economy.
- Avocado, surprisingly, was first cultivated in Mexico thousands of years back.
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