On August 13 in Cancun, the 15th AMHPAC (Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture) congress was held. This association represents growers of fruits and vegetables grown in greenhouses, shade nets, and macro tunnels. The attendants of the Congress were Members of the organization, directors, and presidents of sister associations. Marte Vega; the president of CAADES, Mr. Jose Maria Pablos President of CIDH; the director of CIDH Mr. Mario Robles, and our Director Georgius Gotsis representing Veggies from Mexico. Secretary for Agriculture in Mexico Victor Villalobos inaugurated the event and ran the AMHPAC 5 km race with several growers. It was an enjoyable event with commercial space where we saw, by the way, several companies from Sinaloa.
There were also first-class conferences. One talk was led by political-economic analyst Macario Schettino; another activity was a very remarkable panel of growers who shared some of their failures and how they solved them within the agricultural sector.
And how important is protected agriculture in our country? This technology allows us to have safer productions with better quality and consistency. In Mexico, there are more than 50,000 hectares covered. For the first time, this year the State of Jalisco tops Sinaloa in surface area with approximately 12,000 hectares, while Sinaloa, in second place, has almost 9,000 hectares. This is followed by the states of Coahuila, Michoacan, and Sonora, although protected agriculture is found in practically every Mexican state.
Just over half of Mexico’s protected agriculture is used for vegetables and the rest for fruits and ornamentals. Approximately 30% of the national area is planted with tomatoes, 15% with raspberries, and 10% each of bell peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and apples.
The value of protected agriculture production amounts to approximately 3.5 billion dollars. This represents nearly 20% of fruit and vegetable exports.
Fruit and vegetable production in greenhouses and shade nets will continue to grow in Mexico. The stability in terms of volume and quality that this type of technology offers is a powerful tool for growers to have harvests for longer, have more attractive contracts with buyers and obtain better average prices.
Finally, I congratulate AMHPAC and its general director, Mr. Alfredo Diaz Belmontes, for the excellent AMHPAC 2023 congress.