Introduction to Farming in Mexico, Horticulture/Agricultural Crops, Livestock Production, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Framing in Mexico has been an important sector of the country’s economy historically and politically. Generally, Mexico is a main global producer and exporter of agricultural products. The agricultural products in Mexico are an important share of the total world exports of Citrus and Melons (31%), Tomatoes (24%), Cucumbers (19%), and tropical fruit (22%). The agriculture sector is one of the important sectors of Mexico’s rural economy, representing about 3.3% of its national gross domestic product (GDP). Mexico has the 2nd highest degree of socioeconomic disparity amongst the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
More than half of the country’s total land area is used in the agriculture sector, with crop production accounting for 13% of the total national territory. Mexico has a total land area of 2 million square kilometers and about 23% of which is equipped for irrigated agriculture.
A guide to farming in Mexico, Agricultural Crops in Mexico, Mexico’s Livestock Production
In Mexico, agriculture farming is important to the country’s economy. With ancient civilizations developing plants like tomatoes, maize, avocados, peppers, beans, and much more, the country became known for some of its crops, which have become important agricultural exports.
The agricultural farming in Mexico has grown over the past decade, but the country still faces challenges and unrealized opportunities. However, larger, technology-intensive operations in Mexico are competitive and generally supply the export market, Mexico’s agricultural operations are small, with limited access to capital, infrastructure, and profitable markets. Also, the country’s R&D levels are low relative to other countries. More investment in research can be needed to support productivity growth in the agricultural sector.
Approximately one-quarter of Mexico’s about 100 million people live in rural areas and depend primarily on agriculture. Farming incomes tend to be low, only about a third of the national average, and agriculture contributes about 5% of the national GDP. In the north and north-east, the farms are large and irrigated, producing a wide variety of crops including wheat, sorghum, oilseeds, and vegetables. What irrigation there is comes from surface storage, so is rainfall dependent. Farmers in Mexico grow feed grains, oilseeds, fruit, and vegetables. Agricultural exports are important in Mexico especially coffee, winter fruits, and vegetables. About 60% of Mexico’s agricultural exports go to the United States.
History of Mexico’s Agriculture
Mexico’s main agricultural products like vegetables, fruits, beef, milk, corn, eggs, poultry, and pork, which make up more than half of the country’s agricultural production. The most profitable crops grown in Mexico include sugarcane and coffee. Other profitable crops are Pineapples, Bananas, Cacao, Mangos, and Vanilla. More than 50% of Mexico’s agricultural exports go to the United States.
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Corn is the earliest cultivation that took place in Mexico. It is believed that cotton and sunflower seeds were cultivated during the Mesoamerican period. Mesoamerican cultures developed various crops including Squash, Tomatoes, Chili Peppers, and Beans. Agriculture continued to be an important sector for the country and supply most products commercially to cities during the colonial period.
Mexico is endowed with a rich diversity of fish, estimated to include about 500 known fish species due to the availability of both freshwater and saltwater resources. The fish occupy the Mexican coast, lakes, and rivers. These marine and inland waters provide for the habitats of these fish species. In recent years, these species have been threatened due to over-exploitation, habitat destruction, and the introduction of alien species into the water making them prey on native fish.
Geography and Agriculture Trade in Mexico
Mexico is a large country and of all of the land, about 15% is dedicated to agricultural groups while more than 50% is used for the production of livestock. Many regions of the country are too mountainous or too arid for grazing or growing crops, but with the diverse climate in the country, there are certain areas where crops and livestock thrive.
Commercial agricultural products come from the tropics of the Gulf of Mexico and Chiapas Highlands, the irrigated lands of the north and northwest, and the Bajío region in central Mexico. The main agricultural products which make up about 80% of agricultural production in Mexico are beef, fruits, vegetables, corn, milk, poultry, pork, and eggs.
The most profitable tropical crops in Mexico are coffee and sugarcane. Other important tropical fruit crops are Bananas, Pineapples, and Mangos as well as Cacao and Rice. The agriculture sector employs about 14% of the nation’s labor force. More than half of the population might be involved in agricultural activities in rural areas.
The agricultural sector in Mexico can be split into two parts;
1) Subsistence farming is dependent on unskilled laborers in the rural regions and
2) Highly competitive export-oriented farming.
Mexico has a diverse topography with varying climate conditions and geographical features. Dependence on food imports, Mexico production and consumption pattern points out the countries. Agricultural exports in Mexico can have risen significantly over the years, but imports have risen even more. Mexico imports about 10% more food than it exports.
Mexico’s government policies supporting sustainable development open significant business and job opportunities for biofuels and bioenergy. Particularly, residue streams from agriculture can enhance the value chains of agricultural products. This can considerably help rural areas improve economic diversification while supporting a national transition to a low-carbon economy.
The use of residual by-products of agriculture to produce biofuels can add value to the life cycles of agricultural goods while addressing energy needs in rural regions. In Mexico, the large availability of agricultural residues improves prospects for the production of biofuels using low-cost, non-edible feedstocks. Also, other benefits are employment creation, and alternative energy solutions, while safeguarding food security in Mexico. The most important 13 agricultural products in Mexico are corn, sugarcane, beans, wheat, coffee, egg, milk, beef, pork, rice, sorghum, poultry, and fish. The use of harvest residues as a feedstock was not due to their role in protecting soils against erosion and their use as a natural fertilizer. The biofuels production from agricultural residues could also provide important net employment opportunities in Mexico, including from the development of bioelectricity (direct and indirect), bioethanol, biodiesel, and biogas.
Specialty Crops and Organic Industry in Mexico
Mexico is a large producer and exporter of several fruit and vegetables. Mexico has 2nd rank in the global exports of Avocados, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Limes, Chili, Cauliflower, and Broccoli. The production capacity expansion of the specialty crop sector in Mexico is attributable to increases in the extensive margin (acreage) and the intensive margin (yields). Organic production and protected agriculture have seen notable increases in productive capacity.
Mexico is defined as one of the top producers of organic vegetables in the world. With 115,084 acres, Mexico has the 2nd-largest production area after the United States. It is estimated that 4,633 acres are protected production dedicated to tomato, cucumber, and pepper production organically. Mexico is the leading exporter of some organic products to the United States, with a share of around 10%. Mexico’s relevance in the organic sector can increase as demand for organic products continues to rise in developed markets.
Mexico’s Agricultural Crops
The most important aspect of Mexico’sagriculture is the growing of crops. The main crops produced in Mexico include Sugarcane, Corn, Wheat, Peppers, Sorghum, Bananas, Avocados, Beans, Blue Agave, various tropical fruits, and more. The important for consumption within the country are Corn, Wheat, Beans, and Sorghum. The important crops exported in Mexico are coffee, sugar, fruits, and vegetables.
The growing of crops is an important aspect of Mexico’s agriculture, accounting for 50% of agricultural output. In Mexico, the main crops include Corn, Sugarcane, Sorghum, Wheat, Tomatoes, Bananas, Chili Peppers, Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Mangos, Other Tropical Fruits, Beans, Barley, Avocados, Blue Agave, and Coffee. For national consumption, the important crops are wheat, beans, corn, and sorghum. Though, the important animal feed crop is alfalfa followed by Sorghum and Corn.
Corn is the most important crop in Mexico, grown on almost 60% of its cropland and contributing to just over 9% of human calorie intake and 14% of protein intake. Central Mexico grows about 60% of the country’s corn, almost exclusively in the rainy season from June to October.
Mexico’s Livestock Production
Livestock production accounts for a percentage of Mexico’s agricultural output. Livestock mainly produces eggs, milk, poultry, and beef. The northern part of Mexico has been considered the important ranching area in the country since the time of the Mexican War of Independence.
Livestock accounts for 30% of Mexico’s agricultural output that producing mainly milk, poultry, eggs, and beef. Mexico is not self-sufficient in meat and fish production, importing its remaining needs mainly from the United States. Some dairy cattle varieties in Mexico are Holstein and criollos, 42% in the north, 48% in central Mexico, and 10% in the south. The raising of cattle has been produced mostly in the center and north of Mexico, displacing other kinds of agricultural production.
Approximately 75% of dairy goats are raised in Coahuila, Durango, and Guanajuato in Mexico. Most goat breeds such as Criollo and Rambouillet are dominant in the north, with Suffolk and Hampshire goat breeds dominating in central Mexico. The goat breeds for southern Mexico in tropical regions are Pelibuey, Black-belly and Katahdin increasingly dominate.
Frequently Asked Questions about Farming in Mexico
The most popular questions and answers related to farming in Mexico are listed here.
Is Mexico dependent on agriculture?
Agriculture products in Mexico include fishing, hunting, livestock production, and cultivation of crops like fruits and vegetables. Agriculture is the primary sector, plays a main role in indirect ways for the Mexican economy.
What type of agriculture does Mexico have?
Mexico’s main agricultural products are vegetables, fruits, beef, milk, corn, eggs, poultry, and pork. The profitable crops grown in Mexico include sugarcane and coffee.
Is Mexico good for farming?
Mexico is one of the most agricultural sectors developing domesticated crops such as Maize, Beans, Tomatoes, Squash, Cotton, Vanilla, Avocados, and various kinds of spices, and more.
Are bananas grown in Mexico?
Yes, different varieties of Bananas are grown in Mexico and the major varieties include the Dominico, Valery, Morado, Manzano, Tabasco, Cavendish Gigante or Grand Naine, and Macho.
Which is the main problem for the farmers in Mexico?
Ensuring the continued sustainability of these farms is one of the major issues the industry needs to address, as issues like water scarcity, rising temperatures, and economies of scale are proving challenging for many producers.
Does Mexico have dairy farms?
Usually, Mexico has imported dairy products for at least a half-century.
What are the native fish species of Mexico?
In Mexico, the native fish species are Variable Platy, Widemouth Gambusia, Balsas Shiner, and California Halibut. Also, other fish species include the Mimic Sanddab, the Dark-Edged Splitfin, the Giant Oarfish, the Rainwater Killifish, the Pacific White Skate, and the Mexican Blind Brotula.
Which is a problem for farmers in Mexico?
The major problems for agriculture in Mexico are water shortages, unstable climate conditions, the proliferation of pests, infrequent but more intense rainfall, hail, and the effects of human activities that are crucial for the food supply.
Does Mexico produce fish?
The rich and marine fisheries in Mexico are tuna, sardines, anchovies, lobsters, abalone, oysters, red snappers, mullets, snappers, king mackerel, grunts, shrimps, sharks, dogfish, clams, sea snails, octopuses, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins.
What are the states with the highest fish production in Mexico?
In Mexico, the highest fish production states are Sonora (54,000 t), Sinaloa (almost 45,000 t), Veracruz (30,000 t), and Tabasco (19,000 t). Sonora is the entity that has the most productions in landings and aquaculture, nationally.
How much water does agriculture use in Mexico?
Nationally, about 75% of water consumption is used in agriculture through settlements, and industry uses about 17% and 8% respectively. Mexico’s groundwater aquifers are an important resource.
Which Mexican states have the largest fishery production?
The largest fishery productions in Mexico are Jalisco, Michoacan, Nuevo Leon and Zacatecan have the highest number of reservoirs, while lakes are concentrated in the States of Chihuahua, and Tabasco.
Is Tilapia native to Mexico?
Usually, Tilapia is found in every state in Mexico and is established in the wild across much of the country.
How can Mexico improve the sustainability of its agriculture sector?
For making more effective use of Sustainable farming practices land, water, labor, fertilizers, reduce environmental damage and energy.
What foods does Mexico import?
Mexico imports mainly grains, especially corn, wheat, and soy from the United States, meat (beef, pork), processed foods, carbonated beverages, and different types of dairy. Also, fresh fruit and vegetable imports are dominated by North American companies.
Where are shrimp caught in Mexico?
In Mexico, shrimp fishing takes place in the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean, both by artisanal and industrial fleets. A large number of small fishing vessels use several types of gear to catch shrimp.
What percentage of farmland in Mexico is organic?
These producers have an average of 3.02 hectares, and they farm 93.9% of the organic land in Mexico.
Why does Mexico produce a lot of avocados?
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There are few places where avocados grow year-round in Mexico. The Mexican state of Michoacán has rich volcanic soil and timely rainfall provide an ideal setting for the growth of the creamy and tasty avocado.
What is the avocado season in Mexico?
In Mexico, the peak harvest season for avocados falls between October and February.
What fruits can you grow in Mexico?
Popular fruits cultivated in Mexico include Apples, Oranges, Grapes, Tangerines, Tomatoes, Grapefruits, Pears, Bananas, Lemons, Limes, Mangoes, Watermelons, Peaches, Nectarines, Pineapples, Strawberries, and Avocados.
What is Mexico’s most valuable resource?
Oil is one of the important natural resources in Mexico. Britain was the first nation to invest in developing the oil industry in Mexico.
Are plantains native to Mexico?
Plantains are found in markets all over Mexico while grown most frequently in the tropical coastal areas of the country.
What crops are mostly grown in Mexico?
Main crops cultivated in Mexico include Corn, Sugarcane, Sorghum, Wheat, Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Mangos, Tomatoes, Bananas, Chili Peppers, Other Tropical Fruits, Beans, Barley, Avocados, Blue Agave, and Coffee. The most important crops for national consumption in Mexico are Wheat, Beans, Corn, and Sorghum.
Why is farming difficult in Mexico?
Mexico has a territory of about 198 million hectares of which 15% is dedicated to crops and 58% is used for livestock production.
What flowers grow in Mexico?
The major flowers that grow in Mexico are Mexican Sunflower, Laelia Orchid, Pineapple Sage, Mexican Honeysuckle, Poinsettia, Mexican Marigold, and Mexican Morning Glory.
Which agricultural products does Mexico have to import and why?
Corn is Mexico’s number one agricultural import from the U.S., followed by soybeans and pork.
What agricultural products does Mexico export to the US?
The United States usually enjoys a commanding market share for several sub-sectors. Mexico is the top destination for U.S. agricultural exports are Corn, Dairy Products, Poultry Meat and Eggs, and Rice.
What kind of livestock is in Mexico?
The chicken was the most produced livestock in Mexico, based on the number of animals slaughtered for meat.
Does Mexico export chicken?
Mexico can export processed poultry products that have undergone heat treatment. Even with these restrictions, 61% of total Mexican exports are bound for the United States.
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