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Protected Agriculture in Mexico: trend and technology

The area of protected agriculture planted in Mexico was 47,252 hectares in 2021, an increase of 1.8% year-on-year, according to the most recent data released by the Mexican Association of Mexican Horticulture (AMHPAC).

The different methods of this type of agriculture create controlled environments for plants.

For this purpose, greenhouses, shade nets and macro tunnels are mainly used, protecting plants from diseases, adverse weather conditions, pests and other external factors. 

Previously, in 2020, the area of protected agriculture planted in Mexico registered a drop of 13.8%, to 46,409 hectares.

Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and cucumbers are among the vegetables produced with these methods.

Because Mexico has advantages such as diverse climatic conditions, labor availability and trade agreements, fruit and vegetable agriculture has maintained steady growth in recent decades.

Protected agriculture

However, Mexico faces problems of drought or water shortages in several of its regions.

This problem, which is exacerbated by the current year’s atypical drought, could further boost protected agriculture.

Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture generates a geostatistical database that provides information on the area dedicated to this activity and its distribution in the country.

This is possible through the use of field work, remote sensing techniques and visual interpretation of satellite images. 

Agricultural production

The following sectors promote the development of agriculture in the country:

  • Deeper integration with the U.S. market. 
  • Improved technologies.
  • Cheaper imports of capital goods due to super-weight.
  • Vertically integrated fresh produce multinationals.
  • Consolidation of export marketing channels.
  • Government support programs.
  • Overpricing for agricultural production.

Technologies

Of the total area of protected agriculture planted in 2021 in Mexico, 14,380 hectares corresponded to greenhouses, 20,778 hectares to shade netting and 12,097 hectares to macro tunnels.

The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture detects infrastructure in the high-resolution satellite images available to SIAP, generating a digital cartography that provides relevant and current information to producers and economic actors regarding this activity.