Protected Agriculture in Mexico
Last August 13th in the city of Cancun took place the 15th AMHPAC Congress, which is the Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture. This association represents growers of fruits and vegetables grown in greenhouses, shade nets, and macro tunnels. The congress was attended by members of the organization, directors, and presidents of other associations. Marte Vega president of CAADES; the president of CIDH Mr. Jose Maria Pablos; the director of CIDH Mr. Mario Robles, and Mr. Georgius Gotsis representing Veggies from Mexico. Secretary of Agriculture in Mexico Victor Villalobos was inaugurating the event and running the AMHPAC 5 km race with several of the growers. We had the opportunity to greet him and to run the race. It was an enjoyable event with commercial space where we saw, by the way, several companies from Sinaloa.
Our director had the opportunity to participate in several first-class conferences. One of the highlights was the participation of the political-economic analyst Macario Schettino; and a very interesting panel of growers who shared some of their challenges and how they solved them within the agricultural sector. Having in common the challenge that has come to mean the rough tomato virus.
It is remarkable in this panel, that one of the coincidences among their comments, was that they could have reduced the virus if they had been looking for spaces of conversation to share strategies among the growers affected. Sharing what plans had worked and what others had not. In this way, they could facilitate and accelerate the implementation of new tools and thus reduce the contamination of this virus in the valleys.
We also had the opportunity to visit a factory that produces bio-fertilizer from sargassum. It represents one of the main challenges in the coasts of Quintana Roo and seriously affects tourism with the excess of this algae on its beaches. Hence, the collection and processing of this algae for its use in agriculture comes as good news. It should be noted that this company already markets its fertilizers throughout Mexico, including Sinaloa.
Finally, we had the opportunity to have conversations with Ruben Ramirez, IFPA’s director for Mexico, Lance Jungmeyer and Georgina Felix from the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Frank Hoogendoorn and Wendele Van Der Wiele, agricultural representatives from the Dutch embassy, among other industry players.
Fruit and vegetable production in greenhouses and shade nets will certainly 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, and therefore have more attractive contracts with buyers, as well as obtain better average prices.
We congratulate AMHPAC and its general director, Mr. Alfredo Diaz Belmontes, for the excellent AMHPAC 2023 congress.
By: Georgius Gotsis – Director of Veggies from Mexico